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Jul 22, 2017
Mattis certifies Pakistan not doing enough against Haqqanis
Jul 21, 2017 - 21:55
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): The Pentagon has decided against disbursement of USD350 million to Pakistan after US Defense Secretary James Mattis told the Congress that Islamabad had not taken enough action against the Haqqani network.
“Secretary Mattis has informed congressional defense committees that he was not able to certify that Pakistan has taken sufficient actions against the Haqqani Network to permit full reimbursement of Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Coalition Support Funds (CSF),” Adam Stump, Defense Department Spokesman for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia, said.
According to Stump, the funds could not be released to Pakistan at this time because Mattis could not certify that Pakistan has taken sufficient action against the Haqqani Network per the requirement in the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
So far, Pakistan has been reimbursed $550 million of the USD900M the country was authorized in FY16 CSF. “With the Secretary's decision, there is no additional FY16 CSF available to Pakistan. The Secretary decided to request reprogramming of the funds to retain the ability to use those funds for other requirements,” he said.
At the same time, Stump insisted that this decision does not prejudge the conclusions of the White House review of South Asia strategy, which is still ongoing.
“This decision does not reduce the significance of the sacrifices that the Pakistani military has undertaken over previous years,” Stump said, and noted that the United States continued to be encouraged by Pakistan's operations in North Waziristan and elsewhere in FATA.
Pakistan's efforts have reduced the ability of some militant groups to use North Waziristan and FATA as a safe haven for terrorism, he said.
“However, the Taliban and the Haqqani Network continue to operate in other locations in Pakistan,” Stump said. “In our discussions with Pakistani officials, we continue to stress that it is in the interest of Pakistan to eliminate all safe havens and reduce the operational capacity of all militant organizations that pose a threat to US and Pakistani interests as well as regional stability,” Stump said.
“Pakistan is authorized to receive up to USD900 million in FY17 CSF. There is a similar certification requirement for Pakistan pertaining to USD400 million of FY17 CSF. Pakistan still has time to take action against the Haqqani Network in order to influence the Secretary's certification decision in FY17,” Stump said.
CSF authority is not security assistance, but rather reimbursements to key cooperating nations for logistical, military, and other support provided to US combat operations. “Pakistan is the largest recipient of CSF reimbursements, having received more than USD14 billion since 2002,” he said, adding that CSF is just one component of America’s broad and enduring partnership with Pakistan.
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