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Pakistan Wants Military Financing Restored, US Advises to Focus on IMF Instead

Pakistan’s envoy in Washington Masood Khan urged the United States government to lift the Trump-era moratorium on military financing and sales to Islamabad.

“It is important that the US restores — for Pakistan — Foreign Military Financing and Foreign Military Sales, suspended by the previous administration,” he said at a seminar in Washington on Thursday.

The US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Elizabeth Horst, instead advised Pakistan to rebuild its economy and work with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Ambassador Khan pointed out the importance of reviving ties with the United States and also the role Washington can play in easing tensions with India. “We do value the US encouragement to India and Pakistan to engage. But beyond that, the US could act as a catalyst to help resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute which has kept the region on the brink of war,” he added.

Elizabeth Horst, however, conceded that Pakistan’s immediate economic situation is all the hype at the moment. “The reforms that Pakistan and the IMF agreed to are not easy. But it’s crucial that Pakistan take these actions to bring the country back to sound financial footing, avoid falling into further debt, and grow Pakistan’s economy,” the US official stated.

She went on to say that the US would continue to support Pakistan through technical engagements and assistance, particularly in encouraging the country to adopt laws that promote a fruitful business climate.

Since the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan and China’s growth in the past years, the US-Pakistan relationship has been mired in uncertainty. However, high-level diplomatic engagements and dialogues on trade, energy, education, health, and defense have recently increased.

The half-day conference at Washington’s Wilson Centre held yesterday focused on how the US-Pakistan relationship can be shaped in the face of challenging developments.

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