ISLAMABAD - Pakistan has sought ‘overdue’ payments from the United States amid the nuclear armed country’s economic crises, official sources said.

Senior officials at the foreign ministry told The Nation that the pending payments were good enough to get Pakistan out of the financial crisis.

One official said: “The pending payment is around $9 billion. Even if they (the US) release half of the amount, it will be very helpful. We have contacted Washington to at least clear the pending payments.”

Another official said Pakistan will no more press the US for ‘aid’ but Washington was ‘illogically’ delaying release of the overdue payments.

The $9 billion claims of Islamabad have been pending before US on account of the Coalition Support Fund.

In the previous 17 years, the US paid $14 billion on account of CSF. This year, the US confirmed it will cut $300 million in aid to Pakistan over its perceived failure to tackle militant groups.

The so-called CSF was suspended after President Donald Trump tweeted that the US had received nothing but “lies and deceit” in return for $33 billion of financial support to Pakistan since 2002.

The Trump administration alleged Islamabad offered sanctuary to Taliban fighters waging a 17-year war in Afghanistan, a charge Pakistan denied.

Yesterday, US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino said underlined the need for Islamabad to ‘build confidence and trust in bilateral relations’ with Washington.

He added: “The Secretary (of State Mike Pompeo) has emphasised the need for Pakistan to deliver the outcome and build confidence and trust between our two countries, and our policy towards Pakistan is clear.”

Ties between the US and Pakistan have been strained after the Trump hit out at the Pakistan for the alleged lacklustre approach in combating terrorism.

Palladino, however, said the US welcomes efforts by Pakistan and India to increase people-to-people contact, as the two countries laid foundation stones for the Kartarpur Sahib corridor.

PAK-EU COUNTER-TERRORISM DIALOGUE HELD

The seventh round of Pakistan-EU Political Counter-Terrorism dialogue was held in Brussels, the foreign ministry said yesterday.

On the EU side, the dialogue was chaired by Pawel Herczynski, Ahmad Farooq, Director General Counter Terrorism represented Pakistan.

“The parties held in-depth discussions and exchanged perspectives on a wide range of counter terrorism issues in a cordial and constructive manner. Reaffirming that terrorism continues to pose a threat to states and societies across the globe, both sides reiterated their resolve to jointly combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” the statement said.

Both sides reaffirmed their solidarity with the victims of terrorist attacks across the world, it added.

The EU side appreciated Pakistan’s increasing efforts in fighting terrorism and emphasized the need for increased engagement on preventing and countering radicalisation.

The parties agreed on the need for a comprehensive approach to terrorism, based on the rule of law and protection of human rights and for enhancing cooperation in dealing with violent extremism in all its aspects, including preventing and countering radicalisation and addressing the root causes of thereof. The parties furthermore underlined their joint commitment to regional peace and stability, said the statement.

Both sides underlined the importance of interfaith dialogue and harmony as a key to promote tolerance and social cohesion in the society, it said.

Recalling the commitments of all states for the implementation of UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions relating to international terrorism, both sides reaffirmed their support for the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in a balanced and integrated manner, the statement said.

The parties also reiterated their determination to work together in promoting international cooperation through fora such as the Financial Action Task Force and the Global Counter Terrorism Forum.

They discussed the ongoing EU-Pakistan cooperation in the area of counter-terrorism, and agreed to explore further avenues of bilateral collaboration including exchange of best practices and potential co-operation projects in mutually agreed areas.

The EU and Pakistan agreed that the next meeting of the dialogue will take place in Islamabad in 2019.

The dialogue followed the adoption of EU Council Conclusions on Pakistan on November 19. They make reference to the wish of the EU to strengthen cooperation in the field of security and defence and commend the resumption of dialogue in this area, and the holding of the annual Dialogues on Counter-Terrorism and on Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. The Pakistan-EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament dialogue was held on November 28.

 

Pakistan seeks $9b ‘overdue’ payments from US