International

Take decisive action against terror groups: U.S. tells Pakistan

The U.S. on Monday asked Pakistan to take decisive action against terror groups, including the Taliban and the Haqqani network, operating from its soil, and said it was ready to work with it to combat terrorism.

“Our expectations are straight forward: Taliban and Haqqani leadership and attack planners should no longer be able to find safe haven or conduct operations from Pakistani soil,” Pentagon Press Secretary Army Col. Rob Manning said during an off-camera news conference.

He said the U.S. has conveyed “specific and concrete steps” to Pakistan that it could take to eliminate terror networks on its soil.

“We stand ready to work together with Pakistan to combat terrorist groups without distinction,” Mr. Manning said.

He reiterated that the amount — $900 million in coalition support fund to Pakistan — has been suspended, not cancelled or reprogrammed.

“The amount has been suspended, not cancelled or reprogrammed, as we continue to hope that Pakistan will take decisive action against the terrorist and militant groups that we seek.

“This suspension is not a permanent cutoff at this time. Security funding and pending deliveries will be frozen, but not cancelled or reprogrammed at this time,” Mr. Manning said.

The amount, suspended recently by the Trump administration, was part of the approximately $2 billion in security assistance to Pakistan.

The Fiscal Year ‘17 NDAA provides up to $900 million for Pakistan in Coalition Support Funds (CSF). The CSF is a two-year fund, and the FY17 CSF began on October 1, 2016 and ends on October 1, 2018.

Of the $900 million, $400 million can only be released if the DoD certifies that the Pakistani government has made a significant progress against the Haqqani network.

“The Secretary has not yet made a decision on the certification required by the FY17 NDAA. We cannot speculate on a future FY18 NDAA,” Mr. Manning said, adding that “to date, no FY17 CSF have been disbursed to Pakistan.”

“We last disbursed $550 million of FY16 CSF to Pakistan in late February-early March 2017,” he said.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 8:14:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/take-decisive-action-against-terror-groups-us-tells-pakistan/article22402381.ece

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