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.
To strengthen mil2mil cooperation on shared priorities & advance US national security, @POTUS authorized the resumption of International Military Education and Training #IMET for Pakistan. The overall security assistance suspension for Pakistan remains in effect. AGW
— State_SCA (@State_SCA) January 3, 2020
The IMET program was suspended in 2018, after Pakistan and Russia signed an agreement to allow Pakistani military officers to receive training in Russian military institutions.
In May 2018, the U.S. State Department suspended most of its security aid, delivery of military equipment or transfer security-related funds to Pakistan after claiming that Pakistan provided safe haven for terrorists in Afghanistan, which Islamabad had denied.
However, In July 2019, the U.S. approved $125 million to provide Pakistan with technical support for its fleet of F-16 aircraft, after Prime Minister Imran Khan’s first official visit to Washington.
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.