US suspends USD 800 million military aid to Pakistan

Posted By: Pti
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Washington, Jul 11: Angered by Pakistan's reluctance to go full throttle in the war against terror, the US today disclosed that it has suspended USD 800 million worth of military aid to it, reflecting months of bickering between the allies.

The White House Chief of Staff Tom Donilon while confirming suspension of the aid, described the relations with Pakistan as "difficult" and that it "must be made to work overtime".

"A series of events over the last eight months have affected our bilateral relations. As a result, the Pakistan Army has requested a 'significant cutback' of US military trainers, and limited our ability to obtain visas," Pentagon spokesman Col Dave Lapan said.

Lapan said it is important to note that all of the military assistance that the US provides to Pakistan is in response to Pakistani requests.

"We remain committed to helping Pakistan build it's capabilities, but we have communicated to Pakistani officials on numerous occasions that we require certain support in order to provide certain assistance," he said.

"Working together, allowing an appropriate presence for US military personnel, providing necessary visas, and affording appropriate access are among the things that would allow us to effectively provide assistance," Lapan said, indicating Pentagon wants Pakistan to remove visa restrictions on its people and allow continued presence of its trainers for the military aid to continue.

Lapan also referred to the recent Congressional testimony of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on US military aid to Pakistan.

"When it comes to our military aid, we are not prepared to continue providing that at the pace we were providing it unless and until we see certain steps taken," Lapan said.

"The US continues to seek a constructive and mutually beneficial relationship with Pakistan. We are engaging Pakistan's leaders to urge steps to strengthen cooperation towards our shared security goals," the Pentagon spokesman said.


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