Sunday, July 10, 2011

US to suspend military aid to Pakistan

Washington is angry with Islamabad over the expulsion of American soldiers from Pakistan

Source: Press TV

Reports say the US is suspending a third of its aid to Pakistan's military amid increased tension between Washington and Islamabad over the US military operations in Pakistan.

Senior American officials told The New York Times on Saturday that a total of USD 800 million in military assistance and equipment could be affected by the suspension.

Washington is angry with Islamabad over the expulsion of American soldiers from Pakistan.

At the request of the Pakistani government, more than 120 American military trainers who were stationed in Pakistan's Warsak district and in Pakistan-Afghanistan border regions have been withdrawn from their military bases.

Tensions between the two countries increased following a secret US raid into Pakistan in May that allegedly killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Pakistani military has since been under pressure to explain why the US military helicopters freely carried out the operation in the Pakistani soil.

Pakistan's defense ministry later ordered the United States to leave a remote desert airbase in the southwestern Balochistan province.

The US had long been carrying out its unauthorized drone attacks in Pakistan from the Shamsi airbase in Balochistan.

US-Pakistan relations are already strained over the civilian casualties caused by the non-UN-sanctioned US drone attacks, which Pakistan has repeatedly condemned as violations of its sovereignty.

The aerial attacks, initiated by former US president George W. Bush, have escalated under President Barack Obama's administration.

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