[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

US to release $1.6bn of aid to Pakistan

Washington quietly resumes military and economic aid to ally, reversing decision made at turn of the decade.

Last Modified: 20 Oct 2013 06:13
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Aid was suspended when relations soured after the killing of Bin Laden EPA]

The US has quietly decided to resume military and economic aid to Pakistan, with plans to send more than $1.6bn within the next few months.

The assistance was suspended when relations soured after the covert raid that killed Osama bin Laden and deadly US air strikes against Pakistani soldiers.

The resumption comes days before Pakistan's new prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, travels to Washington for White House talks this week.

Officials and congressional aides say ties have improved enough to allow the money to flow again. However, neither side has promoted the revamped aid relationship.

The US Congress has cleared most of the money, which should start moving early next year, officials and congressional aides said.

"Funding was notified to Congress following a rigorous planning process over multiple months, to ensure it was in line with both US and Pakistani interests, and would deliver important results for both countries," Marie Harf, deputy spokesman for the State Department, said on Saturday.

Over three weeks in July and August, the State Department and the US Agency for International Development informed Congress that it planned to restart a wide range of assistance, mostly dedicated to helping Pakistan fight terrorism.

The US sees that effort as essential as it withdraws troops from neighbouring Afghanistan next year and tries to leave a stable government behind.

Other funds focus on a range of items, including help for Pakistani law enforcement and a multibillion-dollar dam in disputed territory.

230

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The new military government has issued warnings that it will soon start to clampdown on immigration offenders.
As Snowden awaits Russian visa renewal, the world mulls role of NSA and expects more revelations from document trove.
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
join our mailing list