Pakistan Hits Back At US, Says $300 Million Not Aid, It's Our Money And Should Be Reimbursed

| September 3 , 2018 , 14:23 IST

Pakistan's new Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government on Sunday hit back at reports that the US Pentagon is seeking to $300 million in aid to Pakistan over Islamabad's lack of "decisive actions" in support of regional American strategy against terrorism.

Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the $300 million was not aid or assistance, but was amount owed by the US to Pakistan for its support to terrorism and that the US should reimburse the amount.

"The USD 300 million is neither aid nor assistance - it is the money Pakistan spent from its resources against militants and in the war against terrorism. This is the money they (US) are supposed to reimburse, but now either they are not willing or unable to pay back," Qureshi said during a press conference on Sunday, a day after the US announced its decision on Saturday.   

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"It was all our money that we spent and they (US) were merely reimbursing it," he said.

"If they don't want to reimburse for future spending, it may be different thing. But morally and in principle, they should reimburse what we spent in the past," Qureshi said.

The Pakistan Foreign Minister added that the matter would be discussed during US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to the country on September 5.

"We will sit and discuss this with him (Pompeo). We will try to improve bilateral ties between the two countries. We will listen to him and present our point of view to him as well," he said.

"There are two sides of a picture. They (US) are showing only one side of it; we will show the other side," he said.

Qureshi further said that the current Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government was not responsible for the earlier suspension of US aid to Pakistan.

The US has been adding pressure on Pakistan to crack down on safe havens for terrorists in its country, which the US has said is hampering the peace efforts in neighbouring Afghanistan. In August, the US Congress has passed a defence spending bill capping its security-related aid to Pakistan at $150 million per year, from the nearly $1.2 billion that was provided under the President Barack Obama administration.