Thursday, March 14News That Matters

Major setback to Pakistan: Trump administration has proposed a reduction of $190 million in funding

http://www.thedigitalindian.in/pakistan/major-setback-pakistan-trump-administration-proposed-reduction-190-million-funding/

Trump administration has proposed a reduction of $190 million in funding to Pakistan for the current fiscal year as compared to the last. The US grant stands at $344 million in financial assistance which includes $100 million in foreign military funding.

“Pakistan plays a key role in US counter-terrorism strategy, the peace process in Afghanistan, nuclear non- proliferation efforts, and stability and economic integration in South and Central Asia. It is also a large and growing economy offering profitability for US businesses,” the State Department said in its annual budget proposals sent to the US Congress.

In the first budget of the Trump administration, the State Department said that it will continue to maintain a strong diplomatic presence that will facilitate bilateral cooperation on several joint US-Pakistan interests and maintain stability within the country, a PTI report said.

Last year, the US assistance to Pakistan under the State Department budget was USD 534 million, which included USD 225 million towards foreign military funding.

In addition to State Department’s financial grants, Pakistan also receives reimbursement from the US every year for its expenses towards US operations in Afghanistan.

After Afghanistan, Pakistan continues to be the second largest aid recipient of the US in South Asia.

The State Department’s aid aims to support Pakistan’s long-term stability and security in the region.

The funding will look to promote tolerance and peace-building to reduce the influence of violent extremist groups, such as the Taliban and ISIS, by creating partnerships between the government and civil society groups, and improve the transparency of government, the report said.

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