The US Department of Defense withheld military payments to Pakistan after Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis told Congressional defence committees that he was unable to certify that Pakistan took sufficient action against the Haqqani network to permit full reimbursement of the fiscal year 2016 Coalition support funds (CSF).
The Pakistan-based Haqqani network has been accused of carrying out many high-profile terror acts against US and Indian interests in Afghanistan, including the 2008 bombing of the Indian mission in Kabul that killed 58 people. This is the second year in a row that the Defense Secretary has refused to certify to Congress, as mandated by National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), that Pakistan has taken satisfactory action against the Haqqani network.
Pakistan had been allotted USD900 million in military aid to through the special fund. The country has already received USD550 million of that, but Mattis' decision means USD50 million will be withheld. The remaining USD300 million was rescinded by Congress as part of a broader appropriations act, earlier this year. The Coalition Support Fund (CSF) authority reimburses key cooperating nations for logistical, military and other support provided to US combat operations. Pakistan is the largest recipient of CSF reimbursements, having received more than USD14 billion since 2002.
The US is in the process of reviewing its policy on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Last week, the State Department in a report to the Congress had listed Pakistan as one of the countries having terrorist safe havens. Sanjay Puri, Chairman, US India Political Action Committee, welcomed the announcement adding, “USINPAC has been advocating for years to reevaluate military aid to Pakistan. We cannot have US taxpayer money going towards terror attacks against US and Indian interests from groups in Pakistan.”