Pakistan crucial to South Asia strategy: US State dept

Published: September 20, 2018
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REUTERS/File

REUTERS/File

Pakistan is crucial to the success of United States’ South Asia strategy, read a US State Department publication released in September.

The strategy emphasises Pakistan’s role in supporting regional security and recognises the country as a long-standing and important partner in the region.

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The report also acknowledges a significant decrease in terrorism-related violence across the country. “Pakistan continued to experience significant terrorist threats in 2017, although the number of attacks and casualties has decreased from previous years,” the report added.

 

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Bilateral counter-terrorism cooperation continued to defeat the proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the militant Islamic State group operating in Afghanistan’s Khorasan province.

The report also states that US’ military aid was “paused” until Pakistan addressed key US concerns while other types of financial assistance continued during the year.

“Civilian assistance continued in 2017 and strengthened Pakistan’s civilian institutions by fostering trade and growth, building educational systems and educational ties, bolstering Pakistan’s law enforcement capacity, and helping Pakistan address terrorism, including on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.”

The US also provided assistance in the form of commercial cooperation and support for civilian law enforcement.

Pentagon cancels $300 million ‘aid’ to Pakistan

Earlier, the US said it made a final decision to cancel $300 million in ‘aid’ to Pakistan that had been suspended over Islamabad’s perceived failure to take decisive action against militants.

Coalition Support Fund was part of a broader suspension in aid to Pakistan announced by President Donald Trump at the start of the year, when he accused Pakistan of rewarding past assistance with “nothing but lies & deceit.”

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