Pentagon cuts off financial aid to Pakistan

Pentagon cuts off financial aid to Pakistan

Pentagon cuts off financial aid to Pakistan

The chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Joseph Dunford will accompany him to Pakistan, as they become the first senior United States officials to meet the Pakistan premier since his swearing-in ceremony last month.

The Pentagon says it has suspended $300 milllion in military aid to Pakistan for not doing enough to battle terrorists groups inside its borders.

Pentagon spokesman Lt Col Koné Faulkner said the USA military would aim to spend the money on other "urgent priorities".

Pentagon officials say a request was submitted to Congress this summer for authorization to use the $300 million for other purposes.

The Haqqani network is a militant group that focuses most of its activities on neighbouring Afghanistan, which has complained for years that Pakistan allows it to operate unimpeded from its soil across the border. "This is our own money which we have used for improving regional security situation and they had to reimburse it to us", Qureshi elaborated. Mr Qureshi said the matter will be taken up during Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to the country on September 5.

Other foreign ministry officials said that the USA decision to cancel $300 million aid to Pakistan ahead of the visit of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford was not any surprise. "We will strengthen bilateral ties under context of mutual interests.", Qureshi added.

"The $300 million is neither aid nor assistance - it is the money Pakistan spent from its resources against militants and in the war against terrorism".

Although since 2001 Pakistan has allowed its territory to be used to supply global troops during the war in Afghanistan, and co-operated with the West in fighting some terrorists groups like al-Qaeda, analysts say it has continued to give shelter and support to Afghan insurgents.

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Gillum himself later said on Fox News it was more like a "bullhorn". "Preach!" members of the crowd shouted a few times .

Washington said Pakistan will be able to receive the suspended funding if it took "decisive actions" against the Haqqani Network and the Afghan Taliban.

He said another $500 million in Pakistan aid was cut by the US Congress earlier this year.

"We will hear him and let him know the aspiration of the nation", Qureshi said. The move had come just days after an angry New Year Tweet by US President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of giving the US only "lies & deceit" in return for $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years.

Pakistan is due to decide whether to seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in a bid to aid its ailing economy.

One of the officials said: "We had forgotten this aid long ago".

"Pakistan takes exception to the factually incorrect statement issued by U.S. State Department" on the phone call, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Twitter. In his victory speech, he said he wanted "mutually beneficial" relations with Washington.

Pakistan has received more than $33 billion in United States assistance since 2002, including more than $14 billion in Coalition Support Funds.

Many of Pakistan's top military commanders participated in the program, which also proved to be a useful back channel for American diplomats - a total of 66 Pakistani officers were due to be involved this year.

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