Pentagon withdraws $300M in funding to Pakistan's military

Pakistani demonstrators shout anti-US slogans at a protest in Quetta

The US military has made a decision to cancel 300 million dollars aid to Pakistan over its failure to take decisive actions against terror groups.

"We continue to press Pakistan to indiscriminately target all terrorist groups, including the Haqqani network and [Lashkar-e-Taiba] in the region", Pentagon spokesman Army Lt. Col. Kone Faulkner said in a statement, referring to military groups active in Pakistan.

Faulkner also said that another $500 million in CSF was stripped by the Congress from Pakistan earlier this year, which brings the total withheld funds to $800 million. "This is the money they (US) are supposed to reimburse, but now either they are not willing or unable to pay back", Qureshi said during a hurriedly called press conference on Sunday after the United States announced the decision.

Faulkner said, the U.S. continue to press Pakistan to indiscriminately target all terrorist groups, including the Haqqani Network and LeT in the region. The cut in aid is serious, but the USA still sends more than a billion dollars to Pakistan in other military aid and economic assistance. Earlier this year, the USA accused Pakistan of sponsoring extremist groups, including the Taliban, and requested the country be placed on a global terror "gray list" that would make it more hard to obtain worldwide loans. The request has not yet been approved. He said, Pentagon will have a congressional response before September 30, to allow it to implement the reprogramming actions.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi made the call during a news conference on Sunday where he clarified that the CSF blocked by the USA was part of reimbursement for the loss of lives and financial damages that Pakistan suffered while leading the fight against terrorism.

The announcement came ahead of an expected visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the top US military officer, General Joseph Dunford, to Islamabad. But the Pentagon did not take final steps on the $300 million until this summer.

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Earlier he told the BBC Urdu that the United States 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. We will try to improve bilateral ties between the two countries.

Qureshi said the money was part of the Coalition Support Fund. That agenda includes using terrorists to shape the post-war future in Afghanistan - a future they wish to dominate.

"And to make very clear what we have to do, all of our nations, in meeting our common foe, the terrorists", Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said on August 28.

He said Pakistan welcomes the forthcoming visit of Mr. Pompeo as it will help to understand each other's point of view.

Responding to cut in military aid by Trump administration, Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Sunday vowed to "restore relations with United States by remaining within sphere of respect". Haley said Pakistan would work with the U.S.at times, while at the same time harboring terrorists that attack American troops in Afghanistan.

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