Biden administration seeks economic, social aid for Pakistan in its first budget
- A proposal sent to Congress states that the funding for Pakistan will support strengthened democratic governance, particularly near the Afghan border in KP, and address drivers of extremism
- The funds for these programs will be allocated from the $324.5 million the US State Department is seeking for South and Central Asia to support peace and stability in the region
(Karachi) In a bid to strengthen ties, US President Joe Biden's administration has sought economic and social support for Pakistan and for training Pakistani military personnel in its first budget for the fiscal year 2022, local media reported.
On May 28, the Biden administration unveiled the largest US budget in history worth $6 trillion for fiscal 2022. The funding for Pakistan will support governance and tackle extremism.
A proposal sent to Congress stated that the funding for Pakistan will support strengthened democratic governance, particularly near the Afghan border in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, address the drivers of violent extremism and support stability in Afghanistan and expand economic growth, including by bilateral trade and investment where possible.
Reportedly, the funds for these programs will be allocated from the $324.5 million the US State Department is seeking for South and Central Asia to support peace and stability in the region.
“Regional activities for South Asia will strengthen transparent governance and civil society participation, promote private sector growth, support energy generation, and expand trade, including across the Afghanistan and Pakistan border,” the State Department informed Congress.
Under the International Military Education and Training (IMET) programs in South and Central Asia, the US also seeks $13.8 million for focusing on providing professional training to the defense forces of regional partners and emphasizing professional military education. The priority recipients include Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, and Nepal.
The IMET program aims to enhance coordination between the US Armed Forces and the military of its allies. The IMET program was suspended in 2018, after Pakistan and Russia signed an agreement to allow Pakistani military officers to receive training in Russian military institutions.
In May 2018, the US State Department suspended most of its security aid, delivery of military equipment, or transfer of security-related funds to Pakistan. However, In July 2019, the US approved $125 million to provide Pakistan with technical support for its fleet of F-16 aircraft, after Prime Minister Imran Khan's first official visit to Washington.
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