Source: Agencies04 Aug 2016 20:21:47
Washington, August 3: After the US Defence secretary Ashton Carter declined to give a certification to the Congress that Pakistan is taking sufficient action against the dreaded Haqqani network, the Pentagon blocked the 300 US dollar military aid to the Indian Neighbour.
In the absence of Congressional certification, the Pentagon blocked disbursement of USD 300 million to Pakistan under Coalition Support Fund, which is essentially reimbursement money for the expenses made by Pakistan Army in support of U.S. operations in Afghanistan.
“The funds could not be released to the Government of Pakistan at this time because the (Defence) Secretary has not yet certified that Pakistan has taken sufficient action against the Haqqani Network per the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) requirement,” Pentagon Spokesman Adam Stump said.
Stump said the decision, which means Pakistan will not receive $300 million in military reimbursement funding, was based on the continuing operations of the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani militants on Pakistani soil. The decision comes as the Obama administration grapples with deteriorating security in Afghanistan, where a resurgence in Taliban activity has derailed plans to definitively end the long military effort there.
It is the first time the Obama administration has withheld military aid to Pakistan because of the Haqqani group, which has been a primary source of U.S. concern in Afghanistan and which in the past some U.S. officials have asserted had links to Pakistani intelligence.
Noting that June 30 was the deadline for the Department of Defense to submit its omnibus reprogramming request to Congress, Stump said in order to meet that deadline Carter requested a reprogramming of USD 300 million remaining in 2015 Coalition Support Funds originally authorized for Pakistan.
“We continue to be encouraged by Pakistan’s operations in North Waziristan and elsewhere in the FATA. Pakistan’s efforts have reduced the ability of some militant groups to use North Waziristan and the FATA as a safe haven for terrorism. However, the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network continue to operate in other locations in Pakistan,” Stump said.