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Friday, April 19, 2024

Pakistan seeks US military aid revival

28 April: Pakistan has called on the United States to resume its military assistance and arms sales that were suspended by the former Trump administration in 2018.

The request was made by Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington, Masood Khan, at a seminar on Thursday, where he highlighted the importance of bilateral cooperation in the region.

“It is important that the US restores — for Pakistan — Foreign Military Financing and Foreign Military Sales, suspended by the previous administration,” Khan said, according to Dawn newspaper.

He added that Pakistan needed US support to modernize its military and enhance its counter-terrorism capabilities.

Khan also urged the US to help resolve the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India, saying that it was a “flashpoint” that could trigger a nuclear war.

He said that Pakistan was ready to engage with India in a dialogue, but India had to create a conducive environment by ending its human rights violations and military siege in occupied Kashmir.

The ambassador also expressed Pakistan’s support for the Afghan peace process and said that Islamabad wanted a stable and inclusive government in Kabul that would not allow any terrorist group to operate from its soil.

He said that Pakistan had facilitated the US-Taliban talks and was now working with other regional and international partners to ensure a smooth transition and prevent a civil war in Afghanistan.

He also praised the Biden administration for its decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan by September 11, saying that it was a “courageous step” that would end the longest war in US history.

The seminar was also attended by Alice Wells, a former senior US official who served as the principal deputy assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs from 2017 to 2020.

Wells acknowledged that Pakistan was a “vital partner” for the US in the region and said that Washington valued Islamabad’s role in advancing the Afghan peace process.

She also said that the US wanted to expand its economic and trade ties with Pakistan and help it overcome its energy and water challenges.

She said that the US was committed to supporting Pakistan’s democracy and civil society and hoped that both countries would continue to work together on shared interests and values.

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