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Pompeo Heads to Pakistan to Take on Terrorism, Seek 'Reset'
The U.S. secretary of state’s arrival in Pakistan comes after a challenging eight months for the bilateral relationship.
By Ankit Panda
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives in Pakistan on Wednesday for talks with the country’s new government, led by Prime Minister Imran Khan of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party. Khan, a populist with an anti-American streak, become prime minister after the controversial July 25 elections in Pakistan.
Days before Pompeo’s scheduled trip, the U.S. Department of Defense announced a final decision on the suspension of a $300 million tranche of Coalition Support Fund (CSF) reimbursements for Pakistan, which had been announced earlier this year by the Trump administration.
“Due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy the remaining $300 million was reprogrammed,” a Pentagon spokesperson told Reuters. CSF payments reimburse Pakistan for expenses incurred combating terrorism on its own soil.
“We certainly haven’t seen the progress that we would have hoped to have seen,” Pompeo told reporters on his flight to Pakistan. “Certainly not progress that would be sufficient for us to have advocated for turning back on that financial support.”
“Look, this wasn’t news to the Pakistanis,’’ Pompeo said. “The rationale for them not getting the money is very clear, it’s that we haven’t seen the progress that we need to see from them and the very reason for this trip is to try to articulate what it is our expectation is. We need Pakistan to seriously engage to help us get to the reconciliation we need in Afghanistan.”