US to continue funding military training in Pakistan: report


ISLAMABAD: Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua informed the Senate’s foreign affairs committee on Wednesday that the United States (US) will continue funding the military training component of the aid despite the overall suspension of the security assistance package, according to a local English daily.

Janjua said that other aid components that support the US’ national interest, including the International Military Education and Training (IMET) part, will also not be suspended.

The basic aim of the IMET programme— which is primarily military education— is to act as a bridge between the US military and the recipient country’s military in order to build alliances. A total of $52 million have been spent on the training of Pak military officers in the US over the past 15 years and another $4m has been allocated for the purpose in the current year.

The US, however, has frozen the aid provided to Pakistan under programmes that are of more significance to the country than the US itself, for example, the Foreign Military Financing (FMF). The funds under this programme can be used for the procurement of defence hardware produced by the US.

According to the Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, Pak-US relations are not particularly in a very ‘smooth’ state, adding that there has been no real shift in the US position so far.

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells on her two-day trip to Pakistan reiterated the US demand for clearing Pakistani territory of alleged safe havens for terrorists. Earlier, US Centcom chief Gen Joseph Votel had reached out to Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa to try and calm down the aggravating situation over US President Trump’s tweet.