Pak expected to receive USD 2.5 bn from US

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Islamabad, Jul 5: Cash-strapped Pakistan is expected to receive USD 2.5 billion as financial assistance from the US during the current fiscal following the end of a standoff between the two sides on NATO supply routes to Afghanistan.

The disbursements, especially reimbursements from the US Coalition Support Fund (CSF) for Pakistan's expenses on the war on terror, might relieve the government of pressure it is facing because of depleting foreign exchange reserves which necessitated an immediate bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

The US is expected to pay USD 1.5 billion to two billion during the current fiscal year from the CSF, the Dawn newspaper quoted its sources as saying. About USD 700 million to USD one billion is expected under the Kerry-Lugar Berman Act and Foreign Military Financing (FMF).

An unnamed official said Pakistan's claims for about USD 1.3 billion from the CSF had already completed a 10-stage approval and reconciliation process of the US government and only banking instructions are needed for the amount to be transferred into Pakistan's accounts.

Bills worth another USD 800 million to USD one billion had passed the reconciliation process and were awaiting approval because of political issues surrounding the closure of NATO supply routes.

"We are expecting disbursements to start within the current month," an official said.

Pakistan had closed the supply lines after a cross-border NATO attack killed 24 of its soldiers last year. It ended the blockade after the US apologised for the attack.


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