Donald Trump scraps $300M Pakistan aid cash over terrorism claims

Pentagon canceling $300M in aid to Pakistan, citing record on militants: report | TheHill

Pentagon canceling $300M in aid to Pakistan, citing record on militants: report | TheHill

The Pentagon has made a final decision to cancel $300 million in military aid to Pakistan due to that country's support for terrorists.

The US stoppage of $300 million was the money it owed to Pakistan in Coalition Support Funds (CSF), adding that it can not be described as American aid.

With this, the Department of Defence (DoD) has reprogrammed Dollars 800 million CSF destined for Pakistan. "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.

Mr. Qureshi said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government was not responsible for the latest tension or suspension of funds by the the deal to reimburse Pakistan the cost of war on terror was agreed in past. We will try to improve bilateral ties between the two countries.

Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said combating militants would be a "primary part of the discussion". Pentagon spokesman Lt Col Kon Faulkner said since January, US has consistently engaged with Pakistani military officials at the highest levels to defeat all terrorist groups that threaten regional stability.

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The cut came days before Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is due to touch down in Islamabad for his first visit since the election of new Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has vowed to seek better relations with the USA amid a new push for Afghan peace talks.

For over a decade, Pakistan has received CSF assistance to reimburse its military for expenditures incurred in its war against armed groups, including the Pakistani Taliban.

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.

Furthermore, he said that the reason behind the differences with the USA was its plan to give a role to India in Afghanistan while Islamabad and Washington were in agreement that the U.S. should leave a stable Afghanistan.

"This $300m was neither any aid nor assistance", said Pakistan's new Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday.

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The U.S. has historically been in the largest donor to UNRWA, contributing more than $350 million in 2017 alone.

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.

The US has been pushing Pakistan to crack down on alleged militant safe havens in the country - which Pakistan denies - and announced a freeze on aid at the beginning of the year that an official said could be worth nearly $2 billion. This time may be different, however, as new Khan has said he seeks "mutually beneficial" relations with the United States.

"The U.S. has delivered an object lesson in how not to conduct diplomacy", Pakistan's English-language Dawn newspaper said in an editorial on Monday.

Pakistan could again be eligible next year for CSF.

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