News / Asia

Pakistan Downplays Proposed Freeze in US Military Aid

Pakistan foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar is shown in this file photo.
Pakistan foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar is shown in this file photo.

Multimedia

Audio
Ayaz Gul

Pakistan is playing down the significance of a proposed suspension of hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. military assistance, saying bilateral ties are already "on hold" following last month's NATO attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. The U.S. House of Representative approved a bill on Wednesday that would freeze $700 million in military aid to Pakistan until Congress gets assurances that Islamabad is helping fight the spread of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that insurgents are increasingly using against coalition forces in Afghanistan.

The Pakistani government has criticized the move by the U.S. Congress, saying it is not based on facts and takes a "narrow vision of the overall situation."

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar says that the aid suspension is not a matter of concern for her country because the Pakistani parliament is currently redefining future terms of engagement with Washington and international forces following what she called the "unprovoked" cross-border air attack by NATO last month.

"Pakistan is currently going through a process of re-assessment and re-evaluation," said Khar.  "And what matters today to Pakistan and to all its institutions is the mandate that will be given by the parliament of Pakistan. So I think we are less concerned about what [the U.S.] Congress is doing today and more concerned about what the parliament of Pakistan is doing today because that is what redefines this relationship."

Pakistan's uneasy relationship with the United States has plunged to new lows since NATO's deadly cross-border air attack in late November. The country has retaliated by cutting supply lines for U.S. and allied forces fighting the Taliban insurgency in neighboring Afghanistan. It has evicted American personnel from an airbase in the country's southwest, and the Pakistani government has asked the parliament to define future terms of anti-terrorism cooperation with both the United States and the coalition forces.  The U.S. military and NATO deny Pakistani troops were deliberately targeted in the attack and have launched investigations of the incident.

The Pakistani foreign minister says she is confident that once approved by the country's parliament, the renewed terms of engagement with allied nations, including the United States, will lead to productive relationships.

"It will also strengthen the partnership that we pursue with any country because it will be a partnership which is on a clearly defined mandate, it will be a partnership which has less grey areas and has a clear mandate of the public and parliament of Pakistan and therefore we will be able to pursue this partnership much more vigorously," added Khar.

The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad issued a clarification Thursday evening, saying reports that Congress has cut $700 million dollars in military aid to Pakistan are not correct. It says that the draft legislation currently under consideration in the U.S. Congress includes a reporting requirement and that once the U.S. secretary of defense certifies that Pakistan is cooperating in the joint efforts to combat IEDs, the funds will be released.  It says setting conditions on assistance with reporting requirements is not new, nor is it Pakistan specific.

Taliban insurgents are increasingly using the IEDs to attack U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan. American military officials say that most of the material used to make the bombs is coming from Pakistan, charges officials here deny.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid