US will not pay $350 aid to Pak for not acting against Haqqani network
The Pentagon will not pay military reimbursements to Pakistan after US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis told Congress that Pakistan was taking adequate action against the Haqqani network, a US official said.
The decision came days after the State Department, in its annual report on terrorism, named Pakistan among countries and regions providing "safe havens" to terrorists.
As a result of the notification by Defence Secretary James Mattis to Congress, the Department of Defence has reprogrammed remaining Coalition Support Funds, which is USD 350 million, to other accounts, Defence Department Spokesman Adam Stump said.
"The funds could not be released to the Government of Pakistan at this time because the secretary could not certify that Pakistan has taken sufficient action against the Haqqani Network per the requirement in the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act," Adam Stump, a Pentagon spokesman, said, reports Reuters.
Relations between the two countries have been frayed over the past decade, with US officials frustrated by what they term Islamabad's unwillingness to act against extremist groups such as the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network.
Pakistan-based Haqqani network is blamed for a number of high-profile attacks on US and Western interests in war-torn Afghanistan. The group is believed to be based in the unruly tribal regions of Pakistan, near the porous border with Afghanistan.
The decision by the Pentagon is a sign that while it sees some progress by Pakistan in its military operations in North Waziristan, much work remains.
This is not the first time the Pentagon has decided not to make military reimbursements. Last year, the Pentagon withheld $300 million in reimbursements.
The amount is under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF), a US Defense Department program to reimburse allies that have incurred costs in supporting counter-terrorist and counter-insurgency operations.
There has been growing resistance in the US Congress to sending money to Pakistan.