US places conditions on military aid to Pakistan

US places conditions on military aid to Pakistan

WASHINGTON: A top US diplomat has said that any future military financing will take into account Pakistan’s efforts to address America’s central concerns with regard to their role in the fight against terrorism.

“We are conducting a review of our assistance, to ensure it is aligned with the level of cooperation we achieve in disrupting the Taliban, including the Haqqani Network,” Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Alice Wells told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing, reported Press Trust of India.

“For example, before we move forward with future foreign military financing for Pakistan, the US will take into account Pakistan’s efforts to address these central concerns,” Wells told lawmakers.

She said that in the fiscal year 2018, budgetary request is $344.6 million for Pakistan. This includes $241.1 million for civilian assistance and $103.5 million for security assistance.

The diplomat said the $100 million foreign military financing request is focused on enabling Pakistan to stabilise the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region and fight terrorism.

“However, part of the president’s new strategy means that we are evaluating the full range of tools that could encourage changes in Pakistan’s actions, including examining the nature and scope of our cooperation with Pakistan,” she said.

For Afghanistan, the Trump Administration has requested $782.8 million in civilian assistance this year.

The president, she said, is clear that the US must help the Afghan government spur private sector growth to absorb the 400,000 young Afghans entering the job market yearly.

“To further that goal of self-reliance, our assistance to Afghanistan promotes a stable government and society able and willing to reject the influence of extremist and terrorist organisations,” she added.

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