Diversion of funds: US sends team to Pakistan

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 - 22:55

Washington: Amidst former President Pervez
Musharraf`s revelation that Pakistan used US military aid to
strengthen its defences against India, a top American military
official on Tuesday said a team was recently sent to Islamabad to
review the reimbursement system under Coalition Support Funds.

In a written reply to Senate Armed Services Committee,
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of the Staff Admiral Mike Mullen
said the team was sent to review the Coalition Support Funds,
which provides reimbursement to Pakistan for expense incurred
while conducting operations against war on terrorism.

However, there was no reference if it had any links with
Musharraf`s recent claim that US military aid to Pakistan for
the war against terrorism was used during his tenure to
strengthen defences against India.

"We recently sent a team to Pakistan to review, with the
Pakistan military, the CSF documentation and other
requirements in order to improve accountability and timeliness
of payments," Mullen said. However, he did not say what was
the result of the finding or if the team has returned.

Coalition Support Funds, he said, are a key element
toward meeting US objectives in the Afghan-Pakistan strategy.
"We continue to work with the Pakistan military to improve CSF
processes, and ensure appropriate accountability and
transparency for CSF," the Admiral said.

Mullen argued that the US should continue to support the
Government of Pakistan to expand their capabilities and help
them confront and defeat militant extremism wherever it may be
in Pakistan.

"We must continue to work with Pakistan to approach the
Taliban as a regional threat to both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Taliban groups throughout the region derive their operational
guidance from commanders at the local and tribal level," he
said.

Responding to a question, he said, the US approach to
defeating al-Qaeda must be one that builds trust with Afghans
and Pakistanis while applying all instruments of power.

The United States requires diverse instruments to deny
sanctuary to al-Qaeda and the Taliban now, and to generate a
stable and secure Afghanistan capable of denying al-Qaeda
return after the withdrawal of combat forces, and while it
sustains partnership and commitment to political and economic
development in that nation, he said.

Mullen said defeating the Pakistan Taliban is an
important component of the President`s regional strategy.

Defeating the Pakistan Taliban will prevent al-Qaeda
from collaborating with other extremist allies in the region
and is necessary to ensure a stable, democratic Government of
Pakistan (GoP), he said.

"Our role in defeating the Pakistan Taliban includes
supporting the Government of Pakistan through diplomatic and
military means," he said.

Bureau Report



First Published: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 - 22:55

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