Pak submits exaggerated and inaccurate bills to US: report
Pakistan has been submitting exaggerated and inaccurate bills to the US for services it renders to its forces in Afghanistan leading to sparring between the two countries, a media report has said.world Updated: May 17, 2011 16:12 IST
Pakistan has been submitting exaggerated and inaccurate bills to the US for services it renders to its forces in Afghanistan leading to sparring between the two countries, a media report has said.
"The billing spat has exacerbated tensions between the countries, which reached a nadir after the US raided the compound of Osama bin Laden without informing Pakistani authorities," The Wall Street Journal said in its report.
It said the US has been rejecting more than 40% of the claims submitted by Pakistan as compensation for military gear, food, water, troop housing and other expenses.
There was no immediate comment from the Pentagon.
"According to the documents and interviews with officials, Pakistan has routinely submitted requests that were unsubstantiated, or were deemed by the US to be exaggerated or of little or no use in the war on terror —- underscoring what officials and experts see as a deep undercurrent of mistrust between the supposed allies," the daily said.
"For example, the Pakistani army billed the US 50 million dollars for 'hygiene & chemical' expenses, of which the US agreed to pay only $8 million, according to records covering January 2009 through June 2010. Pakistan's Joint Staff —- the country's top military brass —- requested $580,000 in 2009 to cover food, medical services, vehicle repair and other expenses, but the US paid nothing," it said.
In another case, the US paid millions to refurbish four helicopters to help Pakistan's army transport troops into battle against Taliban and other militants. But the Pakistanis ended up diverting three of those aircraft to peacekeeping duties in Sudan operations for which Islamabad receives compensation from the United Nations, US officials said.
A senior Pakistani official termed it as "detrimental to bilateral trust", the daily reported.
US officials say Pakistani claims have been rejected for a number of reasons, including failure to confirm that expenses were incurred in support of US operations in Afghanistan and the war on terror.
Some US officials also fear that some of the aid is being diverted to the border with Pakistan's traditional rival, India, it said.
"Secret diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show that US officials were taken aback by Pakistani claims as early as 2006, including a $26 million charge for barbed wire and pickets, and for almost $70 million in radar maintenance although there is no enemy air threat related to the war on terror," The Journal reported.