US to continue military training in Pakistan
Islamabad: The US has conveyed to Pakistan that the military training component of the aid would continue despite suspension of the security assistance package, media reports said on Thursday.
Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua informed the Senate’s foreign affairs committee on Wednesday that the US would continue funding the aid components that support their national interest, including the International Military Education and Training (IMET) part, Dawn reported.
The IMET programme, which focuses on military education, is meant to establish a rapport between the US military and the recipient country’s military for building alliances for the future.
Under this programme, Pakistan Army officers have been trained in the US at a cost of $52 million over the past 15 years and an allocation of another $4 million has been made for the current year.
While the IMET would continue, the US has frozen the aid provided under the programmes that are more important to Pakistan, particularly the Foreign Military Financing (FMF). The recipients of FMF can use the funds under this programme for procurement of defence hardware produced by the US.
Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, while briefing the lawmakers on the current state of Pak-US relations, said the relationship was not going “very smooth” and problems were persisting.
He said the US was trying to shift the blame to Pakistan for its failures in Afghanistan. “We have to stand up to those who accuse us of harbouring terrorists,” he remarked.