WASHINGTON: : The United States of America has blocked 300 million dollars in military aid to Islamabad after it failed to get a Congressional certificate for "satisfactory" action against the Haqqani terrorist network. The Pentagon said it was in Pakistan's interest to take action against terrorists in "as many ways as possible."
"We continue to have a close relationship with Pakistan with regard to terrorism and fighting terrorism. (But) It's obviously in Pakistan's interest and in our interest to combat terrorism in as many ways as possible." Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said.
The Haqqani network is alleged to have carried out a number of kidnappings and attacks against American interests in Afghanistan, often targeting civilians. The group is also blamed for several deadly attacks against Indians and India backed projects in Afghanistan, including the 2008 bombing of the Indian mission in Kabul that killed 58 people.
Pakistan has been pressing America to release the 300 million dollars they claim is owed to them under the Coalition Support Fund. The money is essentially reimbursement for the expenses made by America's allies in support of its operations in Afghanistan.
"With regard to that 300 million dollars, there was a deadline in terms of whether or not to transfer that money or to use that money in other ways, and it was determined that at this moment in time, it was best to re-programme that money in other directions," Mr Cook said.
Mr Cook, however, said that United States of America will continue to work "closely with Pakistan and we have seen significant efforts on the part of the Pakistanis."
Several leading American newspapers have described the withholding of military assistance to Pakistan as a "potential blow" to ties between Washington and Islamabad.
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