'US stops Pakistan military reimbursements over terror charges'

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The administration of US President Donald Trump has stopped making military reimbursements to Pakistan over what it calls Islamabad’s lack of action in addressing threats posed by terror groups such as the Haqqani network.

The Pentagon revealed the decision on Friday, shortly after US Defense Secretary James Mattis informed Congress that he was not sure whether Pakistan was up to the job.

“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 per the requirement in the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act,” Adam Stump, a Pentagon spokesman, told Reuters.

This means that the $350 million left of the Coalition Support Funds (CSF) has been moved to other accounts, according to Stump.

“Pakistan has been reimbursed $550 million of the $900 million 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.

Washington pays the CSF reimbursements to key allies that take part in its combat operations through logistical, military and other support. Pakistan is the largest recipient of such payments, having received more than $14 billion since 2002.

This is not the first time that Washington freezes reimbursements to Islamabad. Last year, the Pentagon withheld another $300 million in payments on similar grounds.

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The move comes amid the Trump administration’s review of US policies in Afghanistan. Washington has been pressuring Islamabad to crack down on militants that wreak havoc in the neighboring country.

The Pakistan-based Haqqani network is better known for a number of high-profile attacks against American and Western interests in war-torn Afghanistan.

Relations between the two allies have been frayed over the past decade, with the US officials constantly accusing Pakistan of what they term its unwillingness to act against terror groups.

Earlier this week, the US State Department informed Congress in a report that it had listed Pakistan as one of the countries that has safe havens for terrorists.

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