Monday, August 06, 2018

US cuts Pakistan security funding over terror fears | Arab News

ISLAMABAD: The US Congress has slashed security funding to Pakistan by almost two-thirds under an amended defense budget following criticism of its coalition partner’s failure to tackle terror groups thriving in its porous border region with Afghanistan.

In a $717 billion budget for the coming year, Congress cut funding allocated to Pakistan to fight terrorism from $900 million to $350 million, with some analysts suggesting the figure may be even lower.

Former Professional Staff Member of the US Senate Committee on Armed Services Anish Goel said: “The legislation reduces the amount of funds provided for reimbursement to Pakistan to $150 million. This is a significant reduction from the $700 million authorized through the Coalition Support Fund last year.”

A US Embassy spokesman in Islamabad told Arab News: “The $150 million in defense funding is dedicated to Pakistan’s border security operations and is a clear sign of our commitment to improved security for both Pakistan and Afghanistan. We hope that Pakistan takes the necessary steps to enable the disbursement of this assistance.”

If Pakistan demonstrates its ability to secure the Pakistan-Afghan “borders against the threats posed by transnational terrorism,” it will be eligible for US assistance, the spokesman said.

Under a program to reimburse coalition nations for support provided to US military operations, Pakistan’s fund allocation in 2018 was reduced to $700 million, with half the figure pegged to its action against the deadly Haqqani Network supported by the Afghan Taliban.

In May, the US Committee on Armed Services House of Representatives raised concerns about Pakistan’s commitment to tackle militant groups its border region with Afghanistan and called for drastic cuts to financial relief provided to Islamabad. - Read More

US cuts Pakistan security funding over terror fears | Arab News


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