Washington: Arguing that Pakistan will remain a key player in counter terrorism post-2014, the U.S. has proposed $280 million in military assistance to the country, although it wants to cut civilian aid in an effort to acknowledge India's concerns about misuse of the funds.
Marred by financial constraints, the Obama administration has proposed to substantially cut civilian aid to Pakistan to $446 million for the next fiscal year as against $703 million in 2013, which among other things the State Department argued is aimed at improving ties with India.
“The OCO (Overseas Contingency Operations) resources will support critical U.S. activities such as sustaining close cooperation with Pakistan, ensuring the safety of Pakistani nuclear installations, working with Pakistan to facilitate the peace process in Afghanistan, and promoting improved relations with India,” the State Department said as it proposed $446 million in civilian aid to Pakistan.
“FY 2015 funding for Pakistan is crucial to meeting key U.S. strategic priorities of combating terrorism, strengthening security in both Pakistan and the region, and maintaining stability in Afghanistan post-transition,” the Department said.
“Pakistan will remain a key player in U.S. counter terrorism and nuclear non-proliferation efforts in FY 2015, as well as in our long-term objectives of economic development and stability in the region,” the State Department said in its annual budget proposals to the Congress.
“Developing an enduring and collaborative relationship with an increasingly stable and prosperous Pakistan that plays a constructive role in the region will therefore continue to be a priority for the United States,” the State Department said proposing $100 million to Pakistan under the Economic Support Fund (ESF) for the fiscal year 2015.