The US military has decided to cancel USD 300 million in aid to Pakistan over its failure to take decisive actions against militant groups, the Pentagon said on Saturday, dealing a fresh blow to the deteriorating ties between the two nations.
The move, which needs to be approved by the US Congress, is part of a broader suspension of aid announced in January.
US President Donald Trump, since assuming office, has been tough on Pakistan over its inaction against terror groups. Trump had in August last year unveiled his new South Asia policy and asked Pakistan to do more against such groups.
“Due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy, the remaining $300 million was reprogrammed,” Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner said in a statement on Saturday.
“We continue to press Pakistan to indiscriminately target all terrorist groups,” Faulkner said, adding that the $300 million aid, which had earlier been suspended, would be now aimed at spending on other “urgent priorities” due to “a lack of Pakistani decisive actions” in tackling the issue.
The move is part of a broader suspension announced in January when Washington had announced that it was cutting almost all security aid to the Islamabad, reports the BBC.
The development comes before US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s scheduled visit to Pakistan this week to meet the country’s newly-elected Prime Minister, Imran Khan.
The issue of combatting terrorism is expected to be raised by Pompeo during his talks in Pakistan with Khan this week.
The US in January this year suspended more than USD 1.15 billion security assistance to Pakistan, accusing it of harbouring terror groups like the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network within its borders and showing unwillingness to take “decisive actions” against them, a move that affected bilateral ties.
Pakistan, however, has denied these claims.
Since 2002, Pakistan has received over $33 billion in US assistance, including $14 billion in Coalition Support Funds, a US Defence Department programme to reimburse allies that have incurred costs in supporting counter-insurgency operations.
(With inputs from agencies)