Pakistan has conveyed its disappointment to America that despite its ‘concerted and forceful’ campaign against all terrorist groups, including the dreaded Haqqani network, the US did not ‘certify’ its actions and blocked the $300 million military aid to the country.
In a meeting with US President Barack Obama’s envoy Peter Lavoy, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary expressed concerns over the halt to the military aid.
US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter did not give Congressional certification to Pakistan for satisfactory action against the Haqqani network this year.
In the absence of the certification, the Pentagon blocked the release of $300 million military aid to Pakistan under Coalition Support Fund, which is essentially reimbursement money for the expenses made by Pakistan Army in support of US operations in Afghanistan.
The Pakistan Foreign Office in a statement said “Chaudhary lamented that despite Pakistan’s indiscriminate action against all terrorist groups, included the Haqqani Network, the US administration had decided not to certify the concerted and forceful measures taken by Pakistan.”
Referring to ‘certain recent developments’ that had placed a strain on bilateral ties, Chaudhary stressed that continued engagement was important to resolve differences of perception and understanding.
The Haqqani network – a guerilla insurgent group using asymmetric warfare to fight against US-led NATO forces and the Afghan government – has carried out a number of kidnappings and attacks against US interests in Afghanistan, the Afghan government and other civilian targets.
The group is also blamed for several deadly attacks against Indian interests in Afghanistan including the 2008 bombing of the Indian mission in Kabul that killed 58 people.
The Pakistan visit of Lavoy, who is also Senior Director for South Asia at the US National Security Council, is part of the regular high-level exchanges between the US and Pakistan.
The Pakistan foreign secretary in his meeting with Lavoy also reiterated the resolve of the Pakistani leadership to not allow anyone to use Pakistan’s soil against any country.
Lavoy ‘noted’ that the US recognised the efforts and sacrifices made by Pakistan and its armed forces in the fight against terrorism.
He acknowledged Pakistan’s outreach to Afghan government and efforts aimed at securing peace and stability in Afghanistan.