If the US President Donald Trump has his way, the military aid his country provides to Pakistan could be converted into a loan. According to a PTI report, Trump has made this proposal in his annual budget to the Congress. He plans to convert the US grants to Pakistan for the purchase of military hardware into a loan.
The report says that final decision in the matter would be taken by the US State Department.
US Director of Office of Management of Budget in White House, Mick Mulvaney, said the Trump administration proposal includes converting Foreign Military Funding (FMF) programme to many countries including Pakistan from aid to financial loan. “The Foreign Military Funding or FMF for Pakistan may be provided in the form of a loan,” PTI quoted Mulvaney as saying.
Mulvaney, however, added that the proposal itself doesn’t mean that it would certainly come into effect. This means the US may revert to the original financial grant to Pakistan to sell military hardware if there is a need.
According to the report, the State Department would have the option to decide on whether to provide funding through grants, or as a subsidy for a guaranteed loan.
The proposal is seen as Trump administration’s efforts to cut foreign aid budgets to boost US military spending. According to Mulvaney, the US may continue to provide aid to countries like Israel and Egypt.
According to a report by international think-tank Center for Global Development, US started providing economic assistance and military aid to Pakistan soon after the creation of the country in 1947. It says that the US provided around $67 billion (as per 2011 prices) to Pakistan between 1951 and 2011.
In 2015, total foreign military finance from the US to Pakistan was $2.8 lakh thousand, according to the US Department of State. In years preceding 2015, US had provided $2.8 lakh thousand in 2014, $2.8L thousand in 2013, and $2.95 lakh thousand in 2012.
Pakistan’s failure to stop sponsoring terrorism directed against India has brought global ridicule to Islamabad. On Sunday, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif faced humiliation at Riyadh anti-terror summit attended by Trump and the Saudi King. Sharif, who was representing the sole Muslim nuclear-powered country, was not allowed to put forward his viewpoints, even as leaders of many small states got the opportunity to speak.