US blocks $300 mln Pakistan aid
WASHINGTON, 04 AUG (DNA) – Pentagon has blocked US $300 million military aid to Pakistan after Defence Secretary Ashton Carter declined to give a certification to the Congress that Pakistan is taking sufficient action against Haqqani network.
In the absence of Congressional certification, the Pentagon has blocked disbursement of US $300 million to Pakistan under Coalition Support Fund, which is essentially reimbursement money for the expenses made by Pak Army in support of US operations in Afghanistan.
“The funds (USD 300 million) could not be released to the Government of Pakistan at this time because the (Defence) Secretary has not yet certified that Pakistan has taken sufficient action against the Haqqani Network per the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) requirement,” Pentagon Spokesman Adam Stump said.
Pakistan has reimbursed US $700 million of the US $1 billion they were authorised in fiscal year 2015 under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF).
“With the Secretary’s decision, there is no additional FY15 CSF available to Pakistan,” Stump said.
The Washington Post, which first reported about it, described this withholding of US military assistance to Pakistan as a “potential blow” to US-Pak ties.
“We continue to be encouraged by Pakistan’s operations in North Waziristan and elsewhere in the FATA. Pakistan’s efforts have reduced the ability of some militant groups to use North Waziristan and the FATA as a safe haven for terrorism.
However, the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network continue to operate in other locations in Pakistan,” Stump said.
Pakistan has been authorised USD 900 million in fiscal 2016 CSF. Of that, US $350 Million is subject to a Secretary of Defence certification that Pakistan has taken sufficient action against the Haqqani network, he said. DNA
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