Pentagon Cancels $300 Million in Pakistan Aid, Citing Lack of Support

US to stop $300 million aid for Pakistan cites lack of strong action on terrorism as reason

On Sunday, Pentagon spokesperson Lt-Col Kone Faulkner confirmed that the USA would be finally cancelling $300m in Coalition Support Funds (CSF), which was part of the $1.1bn suspended in January, reassigning the funds to other projects, "due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy".

"We continue to press Pakistan to indiscriminately target all terrorist groups, including the Haqqani network and [Lashkar-e-Taiba] in the region", Pentagon spokesman Army Lt. Col. Kone Faulkner said in a statement, referring to military groups active in Pakistan.

Faulkner said the plan will be submitted to Congress and, if approved, will bring the total of Coalition Support Funds that have been cut to $800 million since early this year. "This is the money they (US) are supposed to reimburse, but now either they are not willing or unable to pay back", Mr. Qureshi said during a hurriedly called press conference on Sunday after the USA announced the decision.

President Donald Trump had announced a broader suspension of aid to Pakistan at the start of the year, accusing Islamabad of rewarding past assistance with "nothing but lies & deceit".

Mattis chose not to, the Pentagon spokesperson has now told Reuters.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford are planning to visit the region in a few days, stopping first in India and then flying to Islamabad, where they are expected to discuss security.

Pakistan, a majority Muslim nation, has had a rocky relationship with its southeast neighbor India and has been a focus of the United States since the al-Qaeda terrorist group carried out the 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center in 2001. The cut in aid is serious, but the USA still sends more than a billion dollars to Pakistan in other military aid and economic assistance.

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It also underscored that Islamabad has yet to deliver the kind of change sought by Washington.

He also blamed the government of former premier Nawaz Sharif for current tension with the U.S. Mr. Qureshi said the new government of Imran Khan will take all decision keeping in mind the interests of Pakistan.

Pakistan has fought fierce campaigns against homegrown militant groups, and says it has lost thousands of lives and spent billions of dollars in its long war on extremism.

Under the Department of Defense's Appropriations Act of 2018, signed by the president in March, Pakistan would not be refunded for any defense operations unless the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State certified that it is "cooperating with the United States in 12 counterterrorism efforts".

PM Khan, who once suggested he might order the shooting down of USA drones if they entered Pakistani airspace, has opposed the United States' open-ended presence in Afghanistan.

It comes at a delicate moment in the U.S. In his victory speech, he said he wanted "mutually beneficial" relations with Washington. At the time, the administration said Pakistan could receive the funds if it showed it was serious about clamping down on terrorist groups.

Pakistan could again be eligible next year for CSF.

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