Trump authorizes military training for Pakistan

U.S. and Pakistani soldiers greet each other on the Afghanistan border, January 2013. (Photo Courtesy: US Army

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 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.

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