Accessibility links

USA

Pakistan's PM Voices Concern Over Suspended US Military Aid


A Pakistani soldier is pictured on Manatu mountain in Kurram Agency, Pakistan's tribal belt bordering Afghanistan, during an operation against militants on July 10, 2011.

A Pakistani soldier is pictured on Manatu mountain in Kurram Agency, Pakistan's tribal belt bordering Afghanistan, during an operation against militants on July 10, 2011.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani says he is concerned about the U.S. decision to suspend $800 million in military aid to his country.

Mr. Gilani said Wednesday that while the fight against militants on Pakistani territory is Pakistan's war, the country's efforts are benefiting the whole world.

His comments come as Pakistan's intelligence chief heads to Washington for talks with senior U.S. officials, and the top U.S. commander for troops in the region, General James Mattis, meets with officials in Pakistan.

Relations between the two sides have been strained since the covert U.S. raid deep into Pakistani territory that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in May. The Pakistani government has faced embarrassment over the raid at home and criticism abroad that someone within the government might have known about bin Laden's location.

Pentagon spokesman Colonel David Lapan said the decision to withhold a third of its military aid to Pakistan is in response to Islamabad's decision to expel American military trainers and put limits on visas for U.S. personnel.

Some Pakistani officials have warned that they might recall troops fighting along the Afghan border. But the country's military spokesman, Major General Athar Abbas, told VOA that a reduction of U.S. aid would not hamper anti-terrorism operations.

General Abbas said that defeating terrorism is in the interest of both countries, but he also warned that aid with conditions is unacceptable.

In Washington Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters "the suspension of some aid to Pakistan does not signal a shift in policy but underscores the fact that the partnership with Pakistan depends on cooperation."

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

XS
SM
MD
LG