Following a recent thaw in relations between the disenchanted allies, the United States is expected to release a ‘substantial’ amount of aid under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) to Pakistan, the Foreign Office said on Thursday.
The announcement was made a day after Pakistan finally lifted the seven-month old ban on Nato supply routes into Afghanistan.
“We are hoping that a substantial amount will be released soon,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Moazzam Ali Khan at his weekly briefing without divulging further details or exact figures.
The amount was long overdue as the Obama administration held up funds during the diplomatic standoff between the two countries over the resumption of Nato supplies. It was in December 2010, when the US last released more than $633 million (about Rs55 billion) under the CSF to Pakistan.
The CSF was established by the US in 2001 to cover some of the cost incurred by countries in the fight against terrorism. It covers 27 nations, including Pakistan, for logistical, military and other forms of support provided to the US in support of overseas contingency operations.
Khan also said that Pakistan had not permitted Nato to transport lethal weapons.
“The whole process was undertaken in a very transparent manner,” he insisted, responding to questions about bypassing parliamentary recommendations to reset ties with the US.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the main opposition outfit in National Assembly and an alliance of religious and political parties have rejected the government’s move to lift the ban on Nato supplies.
While the PML-N claims that key border crossings were reopened without extracting the unconditional apology from Washington, the Defense of Pakistan Council (DPC) is of the view that the country should withdraw its support to the US for Afghanistan.
However, the Foreign Office spokesperson said the US had not only clearly said ‘sorry’ but also assured Pakistan that Salala like incidents would not occur in the future.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2012.