US decides to stop aid to Pakistan, says Pak media

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Aug 22, 2015 07:47 IST

The US has decided to discontinue monetary support to Pakistan under a military plan for not doing enough to counter terrorism, according to media reports in Pakistan.

But there was no announcement or confirmation of it in the US defense secretary Ash Carter told reporters on Thursday: “That hasn’t come to me yet, quite honestly.”

Also, the White House has once again said it has no announcements about President Barack Obama meeting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif despite media reports in Pakistan.

Dawn news publication of Pakistan said on Thursday the US decision to discontinue the aid was conveyed to the Pakistani mission in Washington and authorities in Islamabad.

The news publication had first indicated this in a report earlier this month after a meeting of US defense officials with their counterparts in Islamabad.

Given under Coalition Support Fund, the aid is conditional, released by Congress only if, and after, the administration certifies that Pakistan is doing enough to counter terrorism, specially to break the Haqqani network.

Pakistan has received $13 billion since 2002 under this programme, which was to end with the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan in 2014, but was extended for a year.

Islamabad has asked for the programme to continue.

Dawn said:“Doubts have been expressed in the past by both the US and Afghanistan that the Haqqani network has been spared in the Operation Zarb-i-Azb. But it’s the first time that the US has taken such a harsh step.

“It also shows how seriously the Americans take the continuing threat posed by the Haqqani network, whose current chief Sirajuddin Haqqani earlier this month took over as Taliban’s deputy chief during the succession in the insurgent group that followed the disclosure about Taliban chief Mullah Omar’s death.”

About the Obama-Sharif meeting, a senior White House official told PTI news agency: “This is news to me …. We have not made any announcement about Nawaz Sharif coming to Washington.”

But, he added, he had indeed seen press reports about it.

The White House had precisely the same response when asked about the reports by Hindustan Times in July. “I don’t have any visits to announce for you at this time,” a national security council spokesman had said.

Reports about Sharif getting an invitation to meet Obama at the White House in October started in Pakistani media based on the claims of an unidentified Pakistani diplomat. The US has yet to confirm it.

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