US to continue with the hold on military aid to Pakistan

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
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Washington, Aug 16: The United States is increasingly making it clear to Pakistan to take concrete steps in the war against terrorism. In another step in that direction, the US has made it clear that it will not lift the stay in its $800 million military aid to the south-east Asian country.

It can be recalled that in the aftermath of Operation Geronimo, the US decided to hold the military aid to Pakistan until the latter took evident steps in the war against terrorism. Operation Geronimo, was a stealth strike carried out by the US Navy SEALS in which they killed terror Osama bin Laden in a mansion in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbotabad.

Following the operation, Pakistan requested the US for a 'significant cutback' of American military trainers on its soil.

Speaking about the decision to continue with the hold on the military aid, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, "While our civilian assistance continues unchanged, on the security side, on the military side, we have had to make some changes based on cooperation. We need to have the appropriate military personnel in. If all the training assistance is going forward, we have to have the trainers there."

She added, "On counter-terrorism, the level of our ability to work together depends on continuing to strengthen this dialogue. So we didn't see anything particularly new in this."

Stating that the relationship with Pakistan "is not an easy one" but an extremely important one, Nuland said, "The supposed baskets speak to the conversation we've had here about the need to continue to strengthen CT (counter-terrorism) cooperation and the many visits we've had to continue to try to do that."

And added, "Our desire to see Afghanistan and Pakistan work closely together is, as you know, not a new subject for us, and that's why we sponsor the core group and work so hard to help them develop a better relationship."

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