Washington: US President Barack Obama today proposed more than USD 1 billion in civilian and military aid to Pakistan, describing it as a “strategically important nation”.
The key elements of the proposed budget include strengthening Pakistani military for its fight against extremism, safety of nuclear installation, stability in Afghanistan, economic development and improvement in ties with India.
The budgetary proposals released by the State Department, after Obama sent his annual budget proposals to the Congress shows a more than six fold increase foreign military financing (FMF) to Pakistan from USD 42.2 million in 2014 to USD 265 million in 2016.
In addition, the Obama Administration proposed USD 334.9 million for economic support fund; USD 143.1 especially for counter-terrorism and non-proliferation efforts.
Pakistan lies at the heart of the US counter-terrorism strategy, the peace process in Afghanistan, nuclear non-proliferation efforts, and economic integration in South and Central Asia, the State Department said.
For Pakistan, the budget demonstrates US commitment to fostering stability and prosperity, and provides security assistance that promotes counter-terrorism and counterinsurgency capabilities, the State Department said.
The budget continues to support public engagement and partnership programs in Pakistan and maintains staffing in order to support these critical US priorities, the State Department said.
Proposing USD 265 million for Pakistan under foreign military funding (FMF), the State Department argued this is essential to Pakistan's efforts to increase stability in its western border region and ensure overall stability within its own borders.