US announces separate 400 million dollar counter-insurgency aid for Pakistan

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Washington, May 27 (ANI): The United States has set up a separate aid of about 400 million dollars to help Pakistan counter extremism effectively.

The annual fund named the Pakistan Counter-insurgency Capabilities Fund (PCCF) would primarily provide sophisticated weapons and counter insurgency training to the Pakistan military.

The fund would be in addition to the war supplement that has already been approved by the Senate.

The PCCF will allow the US Central Command officials to work directly with the Pakistani military to help build its counter-insurgency capability, The Dawn reports.

A Pakistan Embassy spokesman said that this additional fund would be of great help in the ongoing military operations in Swat and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

Recently, the US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates had urged the congressional panel to provide an additional package to Islamabad to help build up its counter terrorism capabilities.

"We are asking for this unique authority for the unique and urgent circumstances we face in Pakistan. It is a vital element of President Obama's new Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy," Gates had said.

However, the State Department and the Pentagon both had different opinions over the aid being provided to Pakistan.

Several Senators and members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the State Department's legislative affairs insisted that the fund must be put under strict vigil and in the patronage of the State Department.

They claimed that counter-insurgency is '80 per cent political and only 20 per cent military' so all the efforts to tackle such issues must be controlled by civilians.

"This provision lays down an important marker that providing security assistance to other countries is a matter of foreign policy and should remain a core responsibility of the Secretary of State," Congressman Berman had said.

The PCCF would allow Central Command chief General David Petraeus to press for additional Pakistani acceptance of US training, US officials said. (ANI)

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