US Just Cut Millions in Aid to Pakistan, UN in Gaza

US Just Cut Millions in Aid to Pakistan, UN in Gaza

The $300 million that the Pentagon has chose to scrap is not a military aid to Pakistan, but what it owns to Islamabad for its support in the war against terrorism and should reimburse it, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has asserted, sparking fresh bilateral tensions ahead of a key visit. Pakistan responded to the news that the United States would be stopping Coalition Support Funds by saying that it was using its own money to counter terrorism in the region.

ISLAMABAD/WASHINGTON: Pakistan has announced to take up the matter of suspension of $300 million "aide" by the United States (US) during US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's upcoming visit to the country only hours after the US military ordered to cancel the Coalition Support Funds (CSF).

The Pentagon says it's taken final steps to cancel $300 million in planned aid to Pakistan.

He said the prime minister would soon announce a plan for the overseas Pakistanis, who would invest in Pakistan in various projects and they be offered facilities and concessions.

Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner said: "Due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy the remaining $300 million was reprogrammed".

Officially allies in fighting terrorism, Pakistan and the United States have a complicated relationship, bound by Washington's dependence on Pakistan to guarantee a supply route for US troops in Afghanistan. While the USA appears to believe this is a simple way to "punish" Pakistan for not behaving as they'd prefer, it also risks alienating Pakistan, and convincing them to stop providing aid to the U.S. at all, knowing there's a good chance they'll never get paid for it.

To a question on the government's much-talked about programme of giving away 10 million jobs and five million houses, he said the prime minister has chose to take briefing twice in a month on progress on the first 100-day programme of the government.

American officials had held out the possibility of Pakistan winning back USA aid if it changed its behaviour. We will try to improve bilateral ties between the two countries.

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The US and Taliban may be locked in a different kind of race now: both are trying to maximise their advantage on the battlefield to win greater concessions from the other side at the dialogue table.

Pakistan is also still believed to have the strongest influence over the Afghan Taliban, making its cooperation necessary for any peace talks. It needs access to its roads and airspace to get supplies into Afghanistan. Momentum for fresh negotiations has been growing in recent weeks.

Pakistani intelligence, a power center in Islamabad unto themselves, acts independently of government control as does the military.

Pakistan consistently denies providing safe havens for the militants. "We have spent it", Qureshi said. Famous for his anti-American rhetoric, Khan also opposes much of the US war on terror.

Last month, Pompeo warned that the International Monetary Fund bailout shouldn't be used to pay off debts owed to China.

However, Qureshi said that they will take up the matter with the U.S. during his visit on Wednesday.

In the end, observers say, until the U.S. addresses Pakistan´s fears over India, it will not shake its support for militant proxies.

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