Washington, May 8 : Following reports that Islamabad had wasted US funding and allowed Al Qaeda to rebuild a haven in its western tribal regions, the Pentagon has rejected or deferred millions of dollars in military aid requests from Pakistan.
This could mark a sudden change in US policy towards Pakistan, which for years has spent American military aid without having to show results in the fight against Al Qaeda and other militant groups, the Daily Times quoted a Los Angeles Times report as saying.
In February, the US Defence Department had turned down or delayed an aid of more than 81 million dollars requested by Pakistan, according to a report issued on Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of Congress.
The rejection represents a small portion of the nearly one billion dollars a year Pakistan has received through a programme called Coalition Support Funds, launched after 9/11.
GAO says the US has sent more than 5.5 billion dollars to Pakistan under the programme, making it the largest portion of the 10.8 billion dollars in US aid Islamabad has received since 2002. The study was the second by the GAO in a month to criticise US policy in Pakistan.
The US Defence Department defended the programme as a "critical tool" to deter terrorists in the region, in its response.