US rejects $81 mln Pakistan aid request

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Washington, May 9 (UNI) The US has rejected or deferred Pakistan's request of about 81 million dollars as military aid because earlier massive payouts have not been used for anti-insurgency operations but to pay for heavy equipment suited for a regional conflict with India, a media report said.

According to a report issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of the Congress, the Defence Department turned down or delayed in February funds worth more than 81 million dollars requested by Pakistan, the Los Angeles Times reported.

A programme called Coalition Support Funds, launched after the September 11 attacks, was set up to reimburse the Pakistani military for offensives against insurgents along the Afghan border and assistance given to the US military operating in Afghanistan.

Charles Michael Johnson Jr, who wrote the GAO report, said the agency was still examining why the aid rejections rose so sharply in recent months and also where the military aid went.

US intelligence agencies have concluded that the terrorist network has been able to use its haven in the remote tribal lands of northwestern Pakistan to regroup and rebuild its ability to plan attacks against targets in the West.

US officials have said Pakistan used much of the US military aid to pay for heavy equipment better suited for a regional conflict with India than for anti-insurgency operations in the frontier territories.

One congressional official who tracks US aid said, on condition of anonymity, the increase in aid denials suggested that US officials had become more rigorous.

The GAO study said the US sent more than 5.5 billion dollars to Pakistan under the programme.


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