The US military is canceling $300 million in aid to Pakistan, over what it calls a failure to tackle militant groups. A Pentagon spokesman, revealed the move exclusively to Reuters and said the funds will be driven elsewhere if Congress approves. It adds to a broader cut to security aide earlier this year when President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of paying back past aide with quote, nothing but lies and deceit.
However, news of the move comes just days before a visit by US Secretary of the State Mike Pompeo, to meet the new Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. Defense Chief Jim Maddis said last week that militants will be a primary part of Pompeo and Khan's discussion. Experts on the conflict next door in Afghanistan, America's longest war, argued that safe havens in Pakistan have helped insurgence.
They say it gives Taliban linked militants a place to plot deadly strikes and regroup after ground defensives in Afghanistan. Pakistan denies those charges. This isn't the first time the Pentagon has cancelled these kinds of funds but this year, as Pakistan´s economy struggles, the move may get more attention from Imran Khan, the new leader.
One analyst told Reuters that Pentagon maybe aiming to squeeze the country when it´s vulnerable. As for Khan, he´s imposed America's open-ended presence in Afghanistan. And one suggested he might order US drones be shot down if they enter Pakistan's air space. In the victory speech he wants to see mutually beneficial ties with Washington.
Khan is set to meet Pompeo in the capital Islamabad on Wednesday.