Ambassador to US says withheld Coalition Support Funds were 'reimbursement', not 'assistance'
The $50 million withheld by the Pentagon from Pakistan were not assistance but a reimbursement of expenses incurred by Pakistan towards achieving “common objectives in the fight against terrorism", Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States (US) Aizaz Chaudhry told APP on Friday.
Chaudhry said that Pakistan had paid a staggering human and financial cost during the past decade in the fight against terrorism.
“It is a well-known fact that Pakistan's counter-terrorism efforts have resulted in a significant decline in terrorists attacks,” the ambassador said.
He further said that “Pakistan is maintaining the momentum in fighting terrorism ... through Operation Raddul Fassad and the recently launched Operation Khyber-4".
Chaudhry's remarks were in response to reports by a foreign agency that Pentagon has withheld $50 million that were to be paid under the Coalition Support Fund.
According to the report, the funds were held back after US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said he could not verify that Pakistan had made enough efforts against the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani group, during a US Congress defense committee hearing.
The US had allotted $900 million to Pakistan under the Coalition Support Fund, out of which $550 million had already been reimbursed. Out of the total, $300 million were withdrawn by Congress as part of a broader appropriations act.
However, the report, quoting Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump, said that the withholding of funds did not reduce the significance of the sacrifices that the Pakistani military had undertaken over previous years.