US to free up $1.1 billion for Pakistan military
04 July, 2012
WASHINGTON: The United States will release about $1.1 billion to Pakistan's military as part of a deal that will see Islamabad lift a blockade on NATO supply convoys into Afghanistan, a US official said on Tuesday.
The money, from a US Coalition Support Fund designed to reimburse Pakistan for the cost of counter-insurgency operations, had been withheld due to tensions between the two countries and Islamabad's closure of the supply routes after an attack on Pakistani border posts by NATO forces in November last year which led to the killing of 24 Pakistani troops. Pakistan and the United States announced earlier that the border would be opened once again to NATO convoys. The Coalition Support Fund is often the subject of wrangling between the US and Pakistani officials, with Islamabad's claims often rejected and smaller sums approved by Washington for reimbursement.
The $1.1 billion that will be freed up under the border deal does not include large sums that Pakistan says it is owed, said the US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "This is the amount that has been approved and already gone through the process," the US official told AFP. The Coalition Support Fund is reimbursement to Pakistan for expenses incurred and compensation for facilities made available to the coalition forces in Afghanistan.