WASHINGTON: The United States is ending the assistance it was providing to Pakistan under the Counter-insurgency Capability Fund, says a senior State Department official, confirming that it’s not included in the Obama administration’s budget requests for 2014.
“So, PCCF [Pakistan Counter-insurgency Capability Fund] is one of those programmes that we’re ending in the ’14 budget. We’re actually ending it,” he said. “It’s a programme that we were beginning to wind down even as early [as] in the 2012 budget, in part because there were issues of implementation.”
He said the US Department of Defence had some money for this Fund, which was sent back to the State Department and could not be disbursed because of this “yo-yo”.
The US official, however, clarified that the administration had sent a request to Congress for continuing the Foreign Military Fund programme, “which is the primary way we’re going to be dealing with the security relationship at this point with the Pakistanis”.
The official disagreed with the suggestion that it was Washington’s frustration with the way Pakistan was dealing with the PCCF that caused it to suspend the programme.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a frustration. I think we’re just looking at our programmes, and we’re making sure that what we’re doing in Pakistan and the dollars that we’re putting against Pakistan are going to have the biggest impact,” he said.
The official said that demands in other parts of the world were forcing the US to make these “kinds of tradeoffs”. He conceded that the US was making a six per cent reduction in its assistance to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq, which was a “big reduction” but “we still have a very healthy budget in those countries because we still have very, very important interests in what we’re doing there”.
“In Pakistan, we’re looking at programmes to make sure that we’re putting the dollar where it’s going to have the greatest impact,” he added.
The United States, he said, was still providing about $860 million of non-military and about $300m of military assistance to Pakistan.
USAID and the State Department were also continuing the programmes that “increase stability, strengthens democratic institutions, and help counter and undermine violent extremism,” said another official statement.
“We support the continued US government civilian presence, civil society engagement, and all associated security requirements,” the statement said.
The assistance “modernises security forces but eliminates the Pakistan Counter-insurgency Capability Fund”.