US withdraws Rs36.9bn aid over indecisiveness on militants

WASHINGTON: The United States on Saturday made the final decision to cancel another $300 million — or Rs36.9 billion — in aid to Pakistan that had been halted over what the former claims is the latter’s failure to take decisive action against militants.

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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.”

In a new blow to deteriorating ties, 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 — chose not to do so, despite some US officials having held out the possibility that Islamabad could win back that support if it changed its behaviour.

“Due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy the remaining $300 (million) was reprogrammed,” Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner, the spokesperson, said, adding that the Pentagon aimed to spend this money on “other urgent priorities” if approved by US Congress.

Reuters

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