ISLAMABAD: The United States has given Pakistan $265 million during the current fiscal year under Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for capacity enhancement in counter terrorism and counter-insurgency, revealed a US State Department report.
The fund improves Pakistan’s ability to conduct counter-insurgency operations, particularly in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and enhances the country’s ability to participate in maritime security operations and counter maritime piracy.
“Pakistan has cooperated with the United States in counter terrorism efforts and since 2001, has captured more than 600 Al-Qaeda members and their allies, and the United States maintains a strong security partnership with Pakistan,” said the report released by the US State Department.
The report comes as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is due to visit the United States later this month, starting from Oct 21.
The report added that the US also gave Pakistan $5 million in the current fiscal year under the International Military Education and Training (IMET) assistance.
US is also Pakistan’s largest bilateral trading partner, according to the report.
During the current fiscal year, $18.72 billion was remitted back to Pakistan from overseas Pakistanis, of which 14.4 per cent was remitted back from the US.
The report released by the state department said Pakistan has taken steps over the years to liberalise its trade and investment regimes, either unilaterally or in the context of commitments made with the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank.
Furthermore, major US investments are concentrated in fast-moving consumer goods, construction, chemicals, energy, transportation, and communications, stated the report.
In January 2015, the US had pledged $250 million to help Pakistan facilitate the relief, reconstruction, and return of Fata communities displaced by counter terrorism operations.
Earlier in July, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had been invited by US President Barack Obama for a visit to the United States.
This will be the premier’s second visit to the White House during his current tenure. He last visited the US in October 2013. That visit helped reset ties that had been weighed down by events of the preceding years.
The invitation for this year is meant to expand and deepen the relationship.
The US government has expressed support for the Sharif government’s policy on reaching out to India. The ongoing operations against terrorists and Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace dialogue have also been appreciated.
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The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference is scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, Hainan Province. The forum will be themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily