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United States will not pay Pakistan for military reimbursements this year: Pentagon

United States will not pay Pakistan for military reimbursements this year: Pentagon

Visiting the Pentagon today, President Trump gave the impression that the USA might hold off on any further escalations of the Afghan War, saying that he believes "we're doing very well against ISIS" and that might have the U.S. waiting longer on deciding troop levels.

Mattis's latest decision will now lead to Dollars 50 million aid to Pakistan being withheld as the Congress past year had rescinded the remaining USD300 million funds.

"The funds could not be released to the Government of Pakistan at this time because the secretary could not certify that Pakistan has taken sufficient action against the Haqqani Network", Adam Stump, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.

He added that the decision to withhold the funds does not "prejudge" the White House and Pentagon's upcoming strategy for Afghanistan and the surrounding region, now known as the "South Asia Strategy". Since the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Washington has often made pledges to put more pressure on Pakistan to help stem the tide of fighters moving back and forth between the two countries. Those hopes were bolstered when the administration announced decisions on troop numbers would be the exclusive domain of Mr. Mattis and his staff. The Pentagon said that $300 million, however, had already been withheld and redistributed, meaning that there are no more of the funds available to Pakistan from its 2016 allotment.

Pakistan was allotted Dollars 900 million aid through the special fund by the United States.

The Haqqani Network, which is based in Pakistan, is considered among the most effective and deadly offshoots of the Taliban. USA officials have told CNN that the Haqqani Network was likely behind the deadly May bombing in Kabul that killed close to 100 people. The year before, U.S. Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, then the top U.S. military officer, caused a stir when he told Congress that the Haqqani network was a "veritable arm" of Pakistan's spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate.

"Pakistan did not take substantial action against the Afghan Taliban or Haqqani, or substantially limit their ability to threaten USA interests in Afghanistan, although Pakistan supported efforts to bring both groups into an Afghan-led peace process", the State Department said.

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The announcement also came days after the US State Department in a report on global terrorism accused Pakistan of not taking "substantial action" against the Afghan Taliban or Haqqani.

For the third time in his six months in office, President Donald Trump went to the Pentagon Thursday for briefings on Afghanistan and ISIS.

"This decision does not reduce the significance of the sacrifices that the Pakistani military has undertaken over previous years", he said.

"This decision does not reduce the significance of the sacrifices that the Pakistani military has undertaken over previous years", Stump said, adding that the United States continues "to be encouraged by Pakistan's operations in North Waziristan and elsewhere in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas".

Afghanistan, on the other hand, is looking to the US leader to get tough on Pakistan, which Afghan officials have repeatedly accused of supporting the Taliban.

The revised plan takes a regional approach to Afghanistan's security, Mattis has said previously, and an important part of the plan includes securing Pakistan's role in supporting a stable Afghanistan and addressing India and Iran's influences in the country.


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