Pakistan plays down delayed US military aid

Pakistan has played down a recent US report that in February the Pentagon refused its request for funds to fight Taleban and al-Qaeda militants.

Pakistan receives some $80million a month from the US to help fight militants near the Afghanistan border. Since last year there have been growing questions in Washington over the campaign against the militants.

Some critics say Pakistan has been overcharging the US or diverting funds to other defense-related or civil works projects that have nothing to do with fighting the militants.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO), which is the investigative arm of the US Congress, said in a report published in the US press this week that a Pakistani request for $81m was turned down by Pentagon.

Military aid is given to Pakistan under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF). Pakistan has so far received more than $5.6bn under the CSF. But this year no disbursements have been made so far, officials say.

[Excerpt of an article by M Ilyas Khan, BBC News]

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