Trump authorizes military training for Pakistan

Trump authorizes military training for Pakistan
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US Major General William Webster (L), deputy commander general, talks to troops participating in a Pakistani-US joint army exercise at an undisclosed location in Pakistan, 18 October 2002. (AFP)
Trump authorizes military training for Pakistan
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U.S. and Pakistani soldiers greet each other on the Afghanistan border, January 2013. (Photo Courtesy: US Army)
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Updated 05 January 2020

Trump authorizes military training for Pakistan

Trump authorizes military training for Pakistan
  • International Military Education and Training Program was suspended by Trump administration in 2018
  • Alice Wells says security assistance to Pakistan will otherwise remain suspended

ISLAMABAD: United States President Donald Trump has authorized the resumption of a military education and training program for Pakistan, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells announced on Saturday.

She added that the decision was made to strengthen security cooperation between the two countries in areas of common interest, though she also noted that the American decision to suspend security assistance to Pakistan would otherwise remain in place.

The International Military Education and Training Program (IMET) remained the bedrock of the US-Pakistan military collaboration for decades until it was suspended by the Trump administration since it thought that the South Asian state was not doing enough to secure American interests in Afghanistan and the rest of the region.

“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools,” the American president launched a Twitter onslaught against Islamabad on the very first day of 2018.

Amid an exchange of hot words between the leaders of the two countries, it was reported later that year that the US had suspended the military education program for Pakistan.

As Washington once again started leaning more heavily on Islamabad to pacify the situation in Afghanistan, the State Department announced last month it would resume the training program for Pakistan.

Wells echoed the same decision in the Twitter post just a few hours after there was a dangerous military escalation in the Middle East and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed the American action in Baghdad where it killed a top Iranian general on Friday with Pakistan’s army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.