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Pakistan

Web Desk
September 2, 2018

FM Qureshi responds to US aid cancellation, Imran-Macron phone call

Pakistan

Web Desk
Sun, Sep 02, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the $300m fund cancelled by the United States was not aid but reimbursement for the losses incurred by Pakistan in the war against terror. 

“U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is visiting Pakistan on September 5. We will present our point of view to the US diplomat,” FM Qureshi told media persons at Foreign Office on Sunday.

“We will try to revive the stalled bilateral ties according to the principles of mutual respect and understanding.”

"It was not aid. It was our money which was spent on the country’s participation in the US war against terrorism, he said. 

Responding to a question, Qureshi said that the telephonic call between PM Imran Khan and French President Emmanuel Macron was rescheduled for Monday.

“We received a call from the French president. As Prime Minister was busy, it was mutually agreed to reschedule the call for Monday,” he said.

Earlier, the U.S. military said it has made a final decision to cancel $300 million in aid to Pakistan that had been suspended over alleged failure to take decisive action against militants, in a new blow to deteriorating ties.

The so-called Coalition Support Funds were part of a broader suspension in aid to Pakistan announced by President Donald Trump at the start of the year, when he accused Pakistan of rewarding past assistance with “nothing but lies & deceit.”

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, in particular, had an opportunity to authorize $300 million in CSF funds through this summer - if he saw concrete Pakistani actions to go after insurgents. Mattis chose not to, a U.S. official told Reuters.

“Due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy the remaining $300 (million) was reprogrammed,” Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner said.

Faulkner said the Pentagon aimed to spend the $300 million on “other urgent priorities” if approved by Congress. He said another $500 million in CSF was stripped by Congress from Pakistan earlier this year, to bring the total withheld to $800 million.