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US President Donald Trump has authorised the resumption of International Military Education and Training Programme (IMET) for Pakistan in order 'to strengthen military-to-military cooperation on shared priorities and advance the US national security.'
This was stated by Alice Wells, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia at the US Department of State, in a tweet, in which she also stated that the overall security assistance suspension for Pakistan remains in effect.
"To strengthen mil2mil [military to military] cooperation on shared priorities and advance US national security, President Donald Trump authorized the resumption of International Military Education and Training (IMET) for Pakistan. The overall security assistance suspension for Pakistan remains in effect," the State Department said. On Friday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a telephonic contact with Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa in the wake of the US air strike in Iraqi capital Baghdad in which a top Iranian commander Major General Qassem Soleimani of the Quds Force of IRGC and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), were killed.
"Pakistan's Chief of Staff General Bajwa and I spoke about US defensive action to kill Qassem Soleimani. The Iran regime's actions in the region are destabilizing and our resolve in protecting American interests, personnel, facilities, and partners will not waver," Pompeo stated in a tweet.
It was followed by the Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) who in a series of tweets, stated that the COAS received telephone call from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Regional situation including possible implications of recent escalation in Middle East was discussed, he added.
"The COAS emphasized need for maximum restraint and constructive engagement by all concerned to de-escalate the situation in broader interest of peace and stability. The COAS also reiterated the need for maintaining focus on success of Afghan peace process," the DG ISPR further tweeted.
Earlier in August last year, the Trump administration suspended the IMET for Pakistan days after Pakistan and Russia signed an agreement to allow Pakistani military officers to receive training in Russian military institutions.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020