US looks to cut aid to Pakistan, other client nations in coming budget
Trump’s director of budget office Mick Mulvaney said Pakistan will continue to get assistance, but as loans and not as grants. There was no change for allies like Egypt and Israel, he stressed.world Updated: May 23, 2017 18:30 IST
The United States on Monday announced a move to end foreign assistance to a number of countries, including one-time ally Pakistan that has been struggling to protect its equity from its reputation as a state using terrorists as a strategic tool.
Pakistan will continue to get assistance but as loans and not as grants. The amount was earmarked $742 million in 2017, according to the US state department, but may have been received more under heads that could not be determine readily.
“Yes, I can confirm that,” Trump’s director of budget office Mick Mulvaney told reporters on Monday at a briefing to preview the administration’s budget proposal for 2018. He was replying to a specific question if Pakistan and other aid-receiving nations would no longer be getting these sums as grants, specially military assistance.
Mulvaney said: “Yes, we do change a couple of the foreign military programmes from direct grants to loans. Our argument was instead of loaning somebody, giving somebody $100 million, we can give them a smaller number worth of loan guarantees and they can actually buy more stuff.”
There was no change for allies like Egypt and Israel though, Mulvaney stressed, drawing a significant distinction.
Asked again it there was a cut in aid to Pakistan, Mulvaney seemed a little unsure about the exact provisions in the budget.
The situation will be clearer when the details are rolled out.
First Published: May 23, 2017 14:56 IST