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Agencies
September 21, 2018

Trump admin mulling restoring Pak security assistance

Top Story

A
Agencies
September 21, 2018

WASHINGTON: The Trump administration is considering restoring security assistance to Pakistan, the Washington Times reported on Wednesday.

According to the US newspaper, the election of Imran Khan as prime minister of Pakistan had opened the doors to reset relations between the two countries. Washington is divided over reconsidering President Donald Trump's policy to withhold the security assistance on grounds that Pakistan was ready to reconsider its willingness to provide safe haven to terrorists nearly two decades after 9/11, the report further said.

A former US ambassador to Pakistan had earlier remarked that “the recent cutting of security funds was an absolutely terrible decision.” Earlier this month, the US made its final decision to cancel another $300 million in aid to Pakistan that had been halted over what the former claims is the latter's failure to take decisive action against militants.

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

The new blow to deteriorating ties was served by US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who had an opportunity to authorise the said $300 million in CSF funds through this summer — if he saw concrete Pakistani actions to go after insurgents — yet did not choose to do so, despite some US officials having held out the possibility that Islamabad could win back that support if it changed its behaviour.

Another $500 million in CSF was stripped by the Congress from Pakistan earlier this year, which brings the total withheld funds to $800 million. Meanwhile, the Department of State has acknowledged the efforts of Pakistan Army against terrorists in a report from 2017 on terrorism.

According to the report, al Qaeda and other terrorist organisations have weakened following operations by Pakistan Army in the country’s tribal areas. It states that terrorism and related incidents in Pakistan have decreased following 2014.