US owes Pakistan $9 billion in reimbursements from the war on terror, says defense minister

Special US owes Pakistan $9 billion in reimbursements from the war on terror, says defense minister
Khurram Dastagir
Updated 04 January 2018

US owes Pakistan $9 billion in reimbursements from the war on terror, says defense minister

US owes Pakistan $9 billion in reimbursements from the war on terror, says defense minister

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) held a consultative meeting on Thursday to discuss the country’s response to recent criticisms by US officials, including President Donald Trump.
“Everyone needs to be united on the issue since it is a matter of the country’s survival,” said National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq while chairing the PCNS meeting, which was briefed by Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif and Defense Minister Khurram Dastagir.
National Security Adviser Nasser Khan Janjua, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmed and key opposition leaders also attended the meeting.
Opposition leader Syed Khursheed Shah demanded that all defense institutions and representatives of the Finance Ministry should participate in the follow-up session that will be held next week.
“We cannot make decisions based on emotions. The next session should review the military and financial situation of the country,” Shah said, adding that the situation needed careful examination before the country could frame a measured response.
Briefing the media after the meeting, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said US pressure has regional implications and Pakistan needs to weigh its options.
“We have to look at the situation in the Middle East, at relations between the US and Iran, and the border that Pakistan shares with Iran,” he said.
“We have to consider these things as they are part of the larger picture upon which our response must be formulated.”
Meanwhile, Dastagir said the US owes Pakistan $9 billion in reimbursements from the war on terror.
Trump harshly criticized Pakistan on Twitter on the first day of 2018, accusing it of taking billions from the US and giving “nothing but lies & deceit.”
He said Pakistan is playing a double game by sheltering terrorists that the US is trying to eliminate in Afghanistan.
His tweet came a few days after a media report that Pakistan’s intelligence had denied US officials access to a terrorist linked to the Haqqani network, who was apprehended during the rescue operation of an American-Canadian family in October 2017.
The Trump administration has intensified its criticism of Pakistan since a court in November released Hafiz Saeed, who is accused of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
The US is offering $10 million to anyone who can provide information that leads to his arrest and prosecution.
The Trump administration warned on Tuesday it could withhold $255 million in assistance to Pakistan.
Harris Nawaz, a defense analyst and retired army officer, said the US is scapegoating Pakistan to cover up its own failures in Afghanistan.
“They failed to bring peace and stability in the war-ravaged country. Forty-six percent of Afghan territory is under Taliban control, and they continue to embarrass the Pentagon and the State Department through a string of attacks,” Nawaz told Arab News.
“The US couldn’t satisfactorily train Afghan troops despite spending a great deal of money, and they feel stranded in Afghanistan due to their own wrong policies,” he said.
“Another reason for US coercion is to derail the China Pakistan Economic Corridor project, which is vital for Pakistan to achieve economic prosperity.”
The US is not sympathetic to Pakistan because “it’s a Muslim, nuclear-armed state that’s acquiring economic strength and gradually coming out of the clutches of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and the World Bank,” Nawaz added.
China came to Islamabad’s defense on Tuesday, its Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang saying: “Pakistan has made tremendous efforts and sacrifices in combating terrorism, and made outstanding contributions to the international anti-terrorism cause. The international community should fully acknowledge it.”