In the absence of Congressional certification, the Pentagon has blocked disbursement of US$300 million to Pakistan under Coalition Support Fund, which is essentially reimbursement money for the expenses made by Pak Army in support of US operations in Afghanistan.
“The funds (US$300 million) could not be released to the Government of Pakistan at this time because the (Defence) Secretary has not yet certified that Pakistan has taken sufficient action against the Haqqani Network per the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) requirement,” Pentagon Spokesman Adam Stump said.
Pakistan has reimbursed US$700 million of the US$1 billion they were authorised in fiscal year 2015 under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF).
“With the Secretary’s decision, there is no additional FY15 CSF available to Pakistan,” Stump said.
The Washington Post, which first reported about it, described this withholding of US military assistance to Pakistan as a “potential blow” to US-Pakistan ties.
Noting that June 30 was the deadline for the Department of Defence to submit its omnibus reprogramming request to Congress, Stump said in order to meet that deadline Carter requested a reprogramming of US$300 million remaining in 2015 Coalition Support Funds originally authorised for Pakistan.
“The secretary decided to request reprogramming of the funds to retain the ability to use those funds for other requirements,” he said, adding that this decision “does not reduce” the significance of the sacrifices that the Pakistani military has undertaken over the last two years.
“We continue to be encouraged by Pakistan’s operations in North Waziristan and elsewhere in the FATA. Pakistan’s efforts have reduced the ability of some militant groups to use North Waziristan and the FATA as a safe haven for terrorism. However, the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network continue to operate in other locations in Pakistan,” Stump said.
Pakistan has been authorised US$900 million in fiscal 2016 CSF. Of that, US$350 Million is subject to the Secretary of Defence certification that Pakistan has taken sufficient action against the Haqqani network, he said.
“Pakistan is the largest recipient of CSF reimbursements, having received roughly US$14 billion since 2002,” Stump said.
“This is the first time there’s been a Secretary Defence’s certification required,” he added.