US resumes military training program for Pakistan
The International Military Education and Training Programme (IMET) is worth around $2.4 million
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has authorised the resumption of the International Military Education and Training Program (IMET) for Pakistan in order to strengthen military to military cooperation between the two countries and advance US national security.
As Washington tries to reach out to its allies in the wake of the assassination of a key Iranian commander in Iraq, the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs at the US Department of State on Saturday tweeted the announcement in a message, signed by United States Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells,.
To strengthen mil2mil cooperation on shared priorities & advance US national security, @POTUS authorized the resumption of International Military Education and Training #IMET for Pakistan. The overall security assistance suspension for Pakistan remains in effect. AGW— State_SCA (@State_SCA) January 3, 2020
The United States had suspended military training to Pakistan in 2018, in a bid to force Islamabad to help Washington take decisive action against militants in Afghanistan. The International Military Education and Training Programme (IMET) is worth around $2.4 million.
The announcement comes two weeks after the US State Department had publicly acknowledged that the US would resume military training program for Pakistan, and just a few hours after Pompeo reached out to Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Bawja as part of his outreach to his counterparts in Europe, Russia and in South Asia to brief on the killing of Iranian Commander of the Al-Quds Force Qasem Soleimani.
COAS received telephone call from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Regional situation including possible implications of recent escalation in Middle East was discussed. (1of2).— DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR) January 3, 2020
The announcement appears to be an attempt by the Trump Administration’s to mollify its ally in South Asia, as months before the air strike against the top Iranian general, President Trump had made a categorical statement that Islamabad would get “no more” aid. Trump previously said that Pakistan had “given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools”.
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Pakistan is a key player in the West Asia, and has warm relations with both Iran and Saudi Arabia. President Trump reportedly asked Imran Khan to broker peace between Iran and Saudi Arabia in September in the aftermath of the bombing of Saudi Aramco’s oil facility. Riyadh had accused Tehran of involvement in the bombing.
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