South Asia News
Report: US suspending millions in military aid for Pakistan
Jul 10, 2011, 0:10 GMT
Washington - The United States is suspending about one-third of its aid to the Pakistan military to increase pressure on Islamabad on the fight against militants and the terrorist network, The New York Times reported late Saturday.
A total of 800 million dollars in aid and equipment could be either suspended or outright cancelled, according to three unnamed US officials quoted by the newspaper. Pakistan currently receives more than 2 billion dollars in military aid from the US every year.
Relations with Pakistan have become increasingly tense after the secret US raid into Pakistan in May that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Pakistan has expelled 100 US military trainers and public sentiment against the US has grown.
At the same time, Washington has lost confidence in Pakistan's commitment to the counter-terrorism fight.
Tensions grew in recent days after the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, told reporters that he believed that Pakistan intelligence officials had directed the killing of a journalist who wrote about terrorist infiltration into the Pakistan army.
Part of the possible cutbacks stem from refusal by Pakistan to accept some equipment, and other aid has been held up by the expulsion of the trainers, the Times story said.
Another parcel of the aid that could be affected is the 300 million dollars the US pays Pakistan to underwrite the costs of deploying more than 100,000 soldiers along the border with Afghanistan, which is a hot bed of militant activity.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned last month in testimony before Congress that the US was not prepared to continue military aid 'at the pace we were providing it unless and until we see certain steps taken.'
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