USA continues to press Pakistan to 'indiscriminately' target terror groups

USA continues to press Pakistan to 'indiscriminately' target terror groups

Washington, Sep 2: The U.S. military on Sunday said it has made a final decision to cancel $300 million in aid to Pakistan that had been suspended over Islamabad's perceived failure to take decisive action against militants, in a new blow to deteriorating ties.

Previously this year, Congress canceled $500 million in CSF monies to Pakistan. "This is our own money which we have used for improving regional security situation and they had to reimburse it to us", Qureshi said.

Faulkner said, the USA continue to press Pakistan to indiscriminately target all terrorist groups, including the Haqqani Network and LeT in the region.

The Coalition Support Fund is meant to reimburse the Pakistani military for counterterrorism efforts. At the beginning of the year, President Trump announced a sweeping package of measures aimed at punishing the Pakistani government for giving shelter to Islamists fighting against Western-backed forces in Afghanistan. "DoD is awaiting congressional determination on whether this reprogramming request will be approved or denied". "So, we want them to be successful", said the top United States official while indicating that Washington could also work with global financial institutions to help boost the ailing Pakistani economy because "economy is going to be the key" to Pakistan's success.

Pakistani President Imran Khan has called for a new, "mutually beneficial", relationship with the USA that breaks with the antiterrorism partnership dating to 2001. The issue of combatting terrorism is expected to be raised by Pompeo during his talks with Khan in Islamabad this week. The $300 million cut and comments by a Pentagon spokesman suggest Washington does not feel this has happened and is ratcheting up the pressure.

Earlier he told the BBC Urdu that the U.S.in principle should pay back the money to Pakistan because it was spent for a common objective to defeat militancy and create peace and stability.

Qureshi said the money was part of the Coalition Support Fund.

But the USA does not want a complete break in ties with Pakistan. That agenda includes using terrorists to shape the post-war future in Afghanistan - a future they wish to dominate.

Furthermore, he said that the reason behind the differences with the USA was its plan to give a role to India in Afghanistan while Islamabad and Washington were in agreement that the U.S. should leave a stable Afghanistan. "They (US) are showing only one side of it; we will show the other side", he said.

Mr. Qureshi said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government was not responsible for the latest tension or suspension of funds by the U.S.as the deal to reimburse Pakistan the cost of war on terror was agreed in past.

While Russia-Pakistan strategic dialogue, training and military sales began in earnest around a decade ago, the Trump administration's apparent antipathy along with the victory of cricket-icon-turned-anti-corruption crusader Imran Khan in July's election appear to have provided an opportunity for Moscow to significantly ramp up its influence in the country.

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