WASHINGTON: Bloomberg in a latest analysis on Pakistan-US ties under Donald Trump has predicted ‘aid cuts as top generals, officials and research groups mounting pressure for a policy review on the South Asian nation’.
Quoting a US diplomat, Bloomberg reported: “With relations between the long-term allies frayed, Pakistan should expect a reduction in aid under the new US government”.
General John W. Nicholson who is heading Nato forces in Afghanistan, in a recent hearing, had called for a “holistic review” of policy toward Pakistan.
Last week, Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal — entitled “America First” — called for “deep cuts” to foreign assistance with a 28.5 percent funding reduction for international programs, including the State Department and the US Agency for International Development. Pakistan is the sixth largest recipient of American aid.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said in an interview that continuity of funding would be welcomed given the cost of a recent extension of anti-terrorism operations. Pakistan suffered a spate of bombings last month -- which Dar said was related to a renewed push against militants.
Dar said he may travel to the US to meet Trump’s team before a routine visit in April for meetings with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
“Defeating terrorism is a global responsibility and we are playing our due part,” he said.