ISLAMABAD: The United States has linked the resumption of military aid to Pakistan with the latter’s ‘cooperation’ in the war on terror.
A spokesman for the US Embassy, Mark Stroh, told Dawn on Tuesday that military assistance to Pakistan had not been cut off, but suspended.
He said the security assistance would be based on ‘cooperation’ between the two countries.
The military assistance to Pakistan includes the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) and the Pakistan Capacity Building Fund (PCBF). Mr Stroh said the US assistance for civilian side, including in energy and other sectors, would continue.
Asked whether counter-terrorism efforts of Pakistan would not be affected with the suspension of the US assistance, the spokesman said: “We are working very hard to continue to work together.”
Inter-Services Public Relations director-general Maj-Gen Athar Abbas also confirmed that the US had suspended military assistance to Pakistan, but had not conveyed it in black and white.
He said the US had also suspended the $7 billion Kerry-Lugar package under which only $300 million had been released against a commitment of $1.5 billion per year for the five-year package.
A joint working group on military and capacity building assistance was to meet on May 2 this year, but the meeting was called off because of US operation in Abbottabad the same day.
Since May 2 the two sides have not met and the US military assistance has been suspended.
The PCBF assistance was in shape of equipment, spares for helicopters, weapons and night vision goggles.
The PCBF has three categories: 100 per cent funding for equipment by the US, in second it is shared by both Pakistan and the US and in the third one is borne by Pakistan.
The expense of recent refurbishing of F-16 fighter planes was solely borne by Pakistan under the third category.
Meanwhile, President Asif Ali Zardari met United Kingdom’s shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander and said Pakistan wished to have friendly and peaceful relations with all countries based on equality and mutual respect.
“We will continue with our efforts to support every development that contributes to peace, prosperity and stability of the region,” he said.
The president said that a nation which had been worst hit by the scourge of militancy and militant mindset expected recognition of its countless sacrifices, both in human and material terms.
“All we ask of the international community is to facilitate our trade and help us create economic opportunities for the youth and wean them away from militants,” the president said.
“Pakistan has been paying the heaviest price in the war against terrorism and is determined to pursue the struggle till its logical conclusion. Our sacrifices exceed any other nation’s and Pakistan deserved and expected recognition by the international community,” he said.
Britain’s High Commissioner to Pakistan Adam Thomson, senior adviser Tom Price and Jasper Thornton accompanied Mr Alexander.
Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Secretary General to the President M. Salman Faruqui and Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir were present on the occasion.