U.S. freezes over $1 bn military aid to Pak over terror inaction

U.S. freezes over $1 bn military aid to Pak over terror inaction

U.S. freezes over $1 bn military aid to Pak over terror inaction

The US State Department announced the decision, saying it reflected the Trump administration's frustration that Pakistan has not done more against the militant groups, which have long used sanctuaries in Pakistan to launch attacks against Afghan and foreign forces in Afghanistan.

The amount of USA aid to the country has been declining, however, so the United States has less leverage over Pakistan, said Michael O'Hanlon, an analyst at the Brookings Institution. The $33 billion Trump referred to represents all US military and economic aid to Pakistan since 2002.

He also repeated long-standing allegations that the country provides "safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan". Islamabad has persistently denied that any such groups operate from its territory.

"They may say its a surprise, but what is no surprise is that the President has expressed his concerns, Secretary Tillerson has expressed his concerns, as has Secretary Mattis, and I imagine many other government officials having those conversations with Pakistan", Nauert said.

While several factors including conflicts in the bilateral relationship on the back of rising influence of China in Pakistan along with changes in the U.S. strategy could be termed as a reason for this decrease in aid, one can say without a doubt that the United States government even under Barack Obama was indeed gradually moving in this direction.

The freeze also covers $255 million in FMF for fiscal year 2016, which falls under State Department authority and whose suspension has already been announced, as well as unspecified amounts of FMF that went unspent in earlier fiscal years. But it could end up backfiring by diminishing the cooperation between the US and Pakistan to combat terror groups in the region.

Historically, the USA has provided Pakistan over United States dollars 1 billion in security assistance annually.

Mostregional analysts agree that the results of these programs have been mixed, generally because Pakistan has been willing to sacrifice US goals to pursue its own interests in relation to its regional enemy India. She said Trump is willing "to go to great lengths to stop all funding from Pakistan as they continue to harbor and support terrorism". He was supervising Pakistan's finances when foreign aid was at its peak under General Pervez Musharraf's rule.

As recently as October, Trump credited U.S.

"For the last 70 years, defense is a one-line budget", said Qaisar Bengali, a leading Pakistani economist and former adviser to the government on economy and finance.

The US aid to Pakistan in 2012 dropped by as much as $521 million to $1.82 billion.

Questions about where the money has gone have been rife from the start. She said that the United States can not get its objectives by giving threats to other States. It says the USA still owes Pakistan $9 billion in the coalition support fund.

Nauert was at pains to point out that the frozen funds had not been cancelled, and would be ready to be disbursed if Pakistan takes action to prove its commitment to the fight. Pakistan Finance Ministry estimates show the amount was higher under President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, with an average $723 million per year between 2002 and 2014.

The military aid, known as foreign military financing, "promotes the development of Pakistan's long-term [counter-insurgency/counter-terrorism] capabilities and improves Pakistan's ability to participate in maritime security operations and counter-maritime piracy", according to the State Department.

They say Pakistan is not refusing to fight the Haqqani network, but that the two capitals disagree about the facts on the ground.

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