Islamabad: The United States has assured Pakistan that it would not suspend civilian economic assistance, according to Pakistani officials.
The officials said that the volume of funding, however, would be affected by the debt crisis in the US and the USD 7.5 billion Kerry-Lugar assistance, slated to be disbursed over five years, will now be stretched over six or seven years.
They also said that the ‘Spent Plan 2011’, the approval of which Islamabad sees as a litmus test for resumption of economic ties between the estranged allies, is now worth USD 1.3 billion, USD 200 million less than what was initially announced.
“An early approval of the Spent Plan will establish US administration’s sincerity to continue civilian assistance,” an official privy to the Pak-US meetings said.
The US had earlier suspended military assistance - about one third of its USD 2.7 billion annual defence package, two months after al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed in a US operation in Abbottabad on May 02.
After the raid, while the US pledged to keep relations steady with Pakistan, its frustration mounted, including over Islamabad’s decision to oust up to 200 US personnel who planned to train Pakistani forces.