Secretary of Defense James Mattis has informed Congress that the U.S.is withholding $50 million in funding from Pakistan because he was unable to certify that Islamabad "has taken sufficient action against the Haqqani Network", a branch of the Afghan Taliban.
In a bid to choke Pakistan, the Donald Trump administration in the USA has decided not to give the installment of 350 million dollars reimbursement coalition support fund to Pakistan.
The United States had allotted $900mn in military aid to Pakistan through the special fund.
This is for the second consecutive year that the US Defence Secretary has refused to certify to Congress, as mandated under National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA), that Pakistan has taken satisfactory action against the Haqqani network.
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Earlier this week, in its annual report on terrorism the State Department said Pakistan "did not take substantial action" against the Afghan Taliban or Haqqani.
The 2016 annual defense policy bill required the Defense secretary to certify that Pakistan is taking action against the Haqqani Network before releasing the remaining $350 million.
"Pakistan has been reimbursed Dollars 550 million of the USD 900 million the country was authorised in FY16 CSF".
Pakistan criticized Mattis' decision and rejected American assessments that it has not done enough to fight the Taliban and its allies. "The secretary made a decision to request reprogramming of the funds to retain the ability to use those funds for other requirements", Stump told the press.
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The United States in 2012 designated the Pakistan-based Haqqani network as a terrorist organization. The documents cited the Pakistani military setting up observation posts along the Afghanistan border, providing logistical support and carrying out maritime patrols in waterways as examples.
Pakistan is the largest recipient of Coalition Support Fund reimbursements, having received more than $14 billion since 2002, according to the Pentagon. $900 million was sanctioned to Pakistan in FY17 CSF, as part of the regular process of Defence Department budget allocation. He added that the decision to withhold the funds does not "prejudge" the White House and Pentagon's upcoming strategy for Afghanistan and the surrounding region, now known as the "South Asia Strategy".
Without naming the Haqqani network, he pointed to Pakistan's recent counter-terror operations aimed at routing militant groups from the tribal areas. "It is a well-known fact that Pakistan's counter terror efforts have resulted in a significant decline in terrorists attacks" Ambassador Chaudhry said.
There is a similar certification requirement for Pakistan to receive $400 million meant for it in fiscal 2017.
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Two days after listing Pakistan among the nations and regions providing "safe havens" to terrorists, the USA on Friday decided against the disbursement of Dollars 350 million in coalition support fund to Islamabad. "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 their operational capacity", he added.