In what could be the blow for Pakistan is USA has decided to block $350mn payable to Pakistan towards coalition support after it has been convinced that Pakistan has not taken enough steps to eliminate Haqqani Terror Network.
“Secretary Mattis has informed congressional defence committees that he was not able to certify that Pakistan has taken sufficient actions against the Haqqani Network to permit full reimbursement of Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Coalition Support Funds (CSF),” Defence Department Spokesman Stump said.
“The funds ($350 million) 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 as per the requirement in the FY 2016 NDAA,” Stump said.
“Pakistan has been reimbursed $550 million of the $900 million the country was authorised in FY16 CSF. With the secretary’s decision, there is no additional FY16 CSF available to Pakistan. The secretary decided to request reprogramming of the funds to retain the ability to use those funds for other requirements,” he said.
The news comes as a big blow to Pakistan which thrives on U.S. aid and it is for the second consecutive year that the US Defence Secretary has refused to certify to Congress, as mandated under National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA), that Pakistan has taken satisfactory action against the Haqqani network which is believed to be operating from tribal regions and is connected with most of the attacks carried out in the U.S.
“This decision does not prejudge the conclusions of the White House review of South Asia strategy, which is still ongoing,” Stump insisted, articulating that this decision does not reduce the significance of the sacrifices that the Pakistani military has undertaken over previous years.
“We continue to be encouraged by Pakistan’s operations in North Waziristan and elsewhere in the FATA. Pakistan’s efforts have reduced the ability of some militant groups to use North Waziristan and the FATA as a safe haven for terrorism,” he said.