US security assistance for Pakistan, which has been declining for years as a reflection of the deteriorating ties between the two erstwhile allies, has plummeted by more than 75% since 2011.
From $1.2 billion in 2011, it is now $316 million, as requested by the US administration for 2015, according to a report of the Congressional Research Service (CRS).
Relations between the two countries hit a new low in 2011 after US Navy SEALs found and killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in the Pakistani military town of Abbottabad.
Over the same period, total US assistance, including economic aid and compensation for helping coalition military forces, is down from $3.5 billion to $814 million (as requisitioned), the report released earlier this month said.
“Ties never really not recovered since 2011, if you look at statements from congressional leaders combined with their refusal to clear the F-16 deal and the introduction of the non-waivable exemption clause,” ” a congressional aide said.
“You can make a persuasive argument that the link between declining security assistance and deteriorating ties is causal and not mere coincidence,” the aide added.
“Duplicitous” is a word frequently used by lawmakers from both sides and even in the media for Pakistan, a non-NATO ally, specially on account of its patchy counter-terrorism efforts.
The US has been pushing Pakistan to act against terrorists operating from its soil, such as the Haqqani Network that attacks foreign forces in Afghanistan, and the Lashkar-e-Taiba, which targets India.
Islamabad, however, has been found to be focused more on terrorists that target Pakistan, the “bad” terrorists, and not the “good” terrorists that serve its strategic goals.
Frustrated by Pakistan’s continued ambivalence, US senators came together earlier this year to block a US proposal to sell to Pakistan eight new F-16 jets at subsidised costs.
They are also moving to make substantial portions of annual aid to Pakistan incumbent upon its counter-terrorism measures, denying the US administration the authority to seek waivers.
Last month, the Pentagon announced it was not releasing $300 million in reimbursement for expenses incurred by Pakistan in support of US military operations in Afghanistan.