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Security assistance to Pakistan to remain suspended: Congressional report ahead of Imran Khan's visit

File photo Pak PM Imran Khan and US President Donald Trump. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 19, 2019, 02.01 PM (IST) Edited By: Shivani Kumar

A Congressional report released earlier this week said that the security aid given by the US to Pakistan would remain suspended pending "decisive and irreversible" action against terrorist groups.

The report came ahead of Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to the US which is set to take place on July 21-24.

"The United States continues to press for 'decisive and irreversible action' against 'externally-focused militant groups and UN-designated terrorist organisations operating from its territory.' Pending such action, security assistance will remain suspended," the independent Congressional Research Service (CRS) stated in the report.

The CRS, known as US Congress's think tank is a public policy research wing, which prepares reports on issues of interest for lawmakers to make informed decisions. It directly works with Members of Congress, their Committees and staff on a confidential and nonpartisan basis.

Its reports are prepared by eminent experts of the field and are not considered as an official view of the Congress.

Ties between the US and Pakistan strained after President Donald Trump while announcing his Afghanistan and South Asia policy in August 2016, hit out at Pakistan for providing safe havens to "agents of chaos" that kill Americans in Afghanistan and warned Islamabad that it has "much to lose" by harbouring terrorists.

In November last year, Pentagon announced that it has suspended security assistance to Pakistan after Trump directed to do so.

"$1.66 billion of security assistance to Pakistan is suspended," Col Rob Manning, spokesman of the Department of Defence had said.

On November 19, Trump had said that Pakistan does not do "a damn thing" for the US while alleging that its government had helped al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden hide near its garrison city of Abbottabad.

In September 2017, the Trump administration cancelled $300 million in military aid to Islamabad for not doing enough against terror groups like the Haqqani Network and the Taliban active on its soil.

(With inputs from agencies)