Reimbursements under CSF

THE United States has always used the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) and withheld it many times in the past to dictate its terms to Pakistan in the war on terror. This as well as other factors including the recent announcement of Trump Policy for the region envisaging expanded role for India in Afghanistan put the relations between the two countries under severe strain.
In an important development the American Congress has now authorised up to $700 million in Coalition Support Fund (CSF) to reimburse Pakistan for activities carried out in support of US operations in Afghanistan. Though the amount will be released after certification by the US Secretary of State that the country has taken demonstrable steps against the Haqqani network, yet the approval by the Congress really signals that recent interactions including the visits of our Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif to Washington and the stopover of US Secretary of State to Islamabad have, to some extent, melted the ice between the two countries. In fact the CSF is not an assistance package rather it is the amount already spent by the country in anti-terror operations in the tribal areas. But over the years it has been seen that the US has always delayed these payments which only multiplied the economic woes of the country. There is no doubt that both the countries need each other for bringing peace and stability in the region. Instead of repeating the do more mantra or attaching strings to the CSF, they need to move forward in an environment of mutual trust – just as the one shown recently in the recovery of an American Canadian family in which the US provided the intelligence and Pakistani troops carried out the operation to recover the family. As regards Haqqani network is concerned, the killing of most of its commanders in Afghanistan clearly justifies Pakistan’s point of view that the group is actually based and operating from the neighbouring country. But if Washington has credible intelligence about its presence on our soil, it should share the same with our relevant authorities for operation against it. Overall improvement in security situation in the country is a testimony of the fact that our security forces have taken indiscriminate action against all the terror outfits without harbouring any soft corner for any of them. It is also time the US also fulfils its responsibilities in Afghanistan and stop providing safe havens to the elements posing threat to Pakistan security.

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