The US is holding back some $800mn in military assistance to Pakistan, about one third of the $2.7bn security package it provides every year, President Obama’s chief of staff said over the weekend. Ties between Islamabad and Washington have deteriorated drastically since the US raid in Abbottabad killed Bin Laden in May. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned last month that the US would cut down military assistance to Pakistan if it failed to take unspecified measures to help America. Now, it seems that it has, as Chief of Staff William Daley confirmed a report in the New York Times that Washington was withholding, and in some cases, canceling $800mn of military assistance.
Pakistan army has claimed that these cuts would not impact the nations military operations in Kurram and Mohmand. “The army in the past as well as at present, has conducted successful military operations using its own resources without any external support whatsoever,” military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told AFP.
Meanwhile India has welcomed the US move. “It is not desirable that this region had to be heavily armed by the US, which will upset the equilibrium in the region itself,” External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna has stated, according to PTI news agency.