Panic in Pakistan as US determined to continue suspension of funds and punishment

Ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to the US, the security assistance to Pakistan would remain suspended pending "decisive and irreversible" action against terrorist groups

Panic in Pakistan as US determined to continue suspension of funds and punishment
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Imran Khan, Trump


New Delhi, July 19: Ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to the United States, a Congressional report has said the security assistance to Pakistan would remain suspended pending "decisive and irreversible" action against terrorist groups.




 
At the direction of President Donald Trump, the US had suspended all its security assistance to Pakistan in January 2018. This is first high-level trip by a Pakistani prime minster to the White House during the Trump administration.




 
"Pakistan is a haven for numerous Islamist extremist and terrorist groups, and successive Pakistani governments are widely believed to have tolerated and even supported some of these as proxies in Islamabad's historical conflicts with its neighbors," the independent Congressional Research Service said in a latest report on Pakistan.




 
The CRS is an independent and bipartisan research wing of the the US Congress, which prepares periodic reports on issues of interest for lawmakers to make informed decisions. Its reports are prepared by eminent experts of the field and are not considered as an official view of the Congress.
 




The latest CRS report told lawmakers that the 2011 revelation that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had enjoyed years-long refuge in Pakistan led to intensive US government scrutiny of the bilateral relationship. It also sparked congressional questioning of the wisdom of providing significant aid to a nation that may not have the intention or capacity to be an effective partner.




 
The Trump administration has taken a harder line on Pakistan than its predecessors, sharply cutting assistance and suspending security-related aid, said the CRS report dated July 15.
 




"The United States continues to press for decisive and irreversible action against externally-focused militant groups and UN-designated terrorist organizations operating from its territory," it said. "Pending such action, security assistance will remain suspended."




 
During a September 2018 visit to Islamabad amidst talk of a "reset" of bilateral ties, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed hope that the US could find common ground with Pakistan's new leadership, but mutual distrust was seen to be pervasive in the relationship and American leverage was much reduced.




 
In mid-2017, the administration announced that it would "pause" disbursement of $255 million in Foreign Military Financing and announced a broader security aid suspension in January 2018. According to the State Department, about $790 million in unobligated FMF dating back to 2001 is affected. 



With Agencies, Pic Google

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