The Pentagon will not make the remaining military reimbursements to Pakistan for fiscal year 2016 after US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis Rtold Congress that Islamabad had not taken sufficient action against the Haqqani Network, a US official said on Friday.
"The funds could not be released to the Government of Pakistan at this time because the secretary could not certify that Pakistan has taken sufficient action against the Haqqani Network per the requirement in the FY 2016 National Defence Authorization Act," Adam Stump, a Pentagon spokesman, said.
The decision comes as President Donald Trump's administration is exploring potentially hardening its approach towards Pakistan to crack down on militants launching strikes in neighbouring Afghanistan.
'No safe haven': Pakistan rejects US report on Taliban, Haqqani network
"This decision does not prejudge the conclusions of the White House review of South Asia strategy, which is still ongoing," Stump said.
However, Pakistan rejected on Thursday the US State Department’sannual assessment that it did not take substantial action against the Afghan Taliban or Haqqani Network or limit their ability to threaten US interests in Afghanistan.
This is not the first time the Pentagon has decided not to make military reimbursements. Last year, it withheld $300 million in reimbursements.
US counting on Pakistan's support, says McCain
Pakistan has been reimbursed $550 million of the $900 million the country was authorised to receive in fiscal year 2016.
Out of remainder, $300 million had already been reprogrammed for other purposes, but had not been previously reported. Mattis' latest decision affects the remaining $50 million.
The amount is under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF), a US Defence Department programme to reimburse allies that have incurred costs in supporting counter-terrorist and counter-insurgency operations.