Suspension of security aid to Pakistan announced in January: Pentagon

Washington, DC, USAUpdated: Sep 03, 2018, 08:05 AM IST

File photo. Photograph:(ANI)

The Pentagon has issued a clarification over its decision to cut security assistance worth 300 million US dollar to Pakistan, saying that the decision to suspend the aid was made in January only.

Pentagon spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner responded via e-mail to ANI, "Unfortunately, recent reporting has distorted the details of the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) by stating several things out of context. The suspension of security assistance to Pakistan was announced in January 2018. CSF is included in the suspension and it remains in place. This is not a new decision or a new announcement, but an acknowledgement of a July request to reprogram funds before they expire."

On Saturday, it was reported that the United States military cancelled the financial aid worth 300 million US dollar to Pakistan due to the growing concerns regarding the latter's failure to tackle the terrorists.

Lt. Col. Faulkner stated that the Pentagon had been engaged with Pakistani military officials at the highest levels since January to discuss their commitment towards defeating all terrorist groups that threaten regional stability and security, as well as usher in a peaceful future for Afghanistan.

"We continue to press Pakistan to indiscriminately target all terrorist groups, including the Haqqani Network and we continue to call on Pakistan to arrest, expel or bring the Taliban leadership to the negotiating table," he said.
The spokesperson also mentioned that through the 2018 Department of Defense (DoD) Appropriations Act, published on March 23, the US Congress rescinded 500 million US dollar in aid to Pakistan.

Lt. Col. Faulkner said that due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy, "the DoD reprogrammed a further 300 million US dollar in July for other urgent priorities before the funds expire on September 30".

"DoD is awaiting congressional determination on whether this reprogramming request will be approved or denied. DoD will have a congressional response before September 30, 2018, to allow DoD to implement the reprogramming actions," he added.

The report of cancellation of the US aid came ahead of US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo's and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford's expected trip to Islamabad on September 5.

In January, Pentagon had cut 1 billion US dollar in financial aid to Pakistan, with Defense Secretary James Mattis and other officials citing Islamabad's failure to crack down on the Haqqani terror outfit as the reason behind it, Fox News reported.