Pakistan sends new $2 bn war bill to US
By Mehtab Haider
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
From Print Edition
Pakistan has dispatched fresh bills worth $2 billion to the US on
account of repayments due under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) head,
official sources said on Tuesday.
“The Joint Staff
Headquarters forwarded CSF bills worth $2 billion for the period between
May 2011 and June 2012 to the US after accomplishing procedural
requirements,” official sources confirmed.
stopped sending CSF bills to the US after the raid to kill Al Qaeda
chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad in May 2011. Relations between
Washington and Islamabad came under further strain in the aftermath of
Salala incident towards the end of 2011 and Pakistan closed Nato supply
routes to Afghanistan.
After intense consultations,
Pakistan and the US evolved consensus to reopen Nato supply routes last
month and Washington disbursed $1.118 billion CSF dues for the period
prior to May 2011. (Of the total bills worth $2.5 billion submitted by
Pakistan, US had rejected bills worth $1.3 billion.)
sources say they don’t know when the fresh bills will be honoured but
they expect to receive between $400-$600 million in the next few months,
which will provide breathing space to Pakistan’s struggling economy.
the official spokesman for the finance ministry Rana Assad Amin says
the ministry doesn’t know the details about the new bills, as the
subject is the domain of the Joint Staff Headquarters. “We will be able
to reveal the exact amount when the receipts come in,” he said.
The spokesperson of the US embassy also said she did not know the specific details of fresh billing.
to Amin, Pakistan had hoped to get $1.5 billion under the CSF head
during the current fiscal year, of which $1.1 billion have already been
received. “If more money comes in, it will help us more,” he concluded.
economist Dr Meekal Ahmed agrees with this assessment. “Obviously,
should this money come in, it will be helpful for the budget and the
balance of payments and will offer some breathing space,” he says.
However, he also sounds a note of caution: “If the government’s policies
remain the same, this inflow will be spent quickly.”
almost 35 to 40 percent of claims made by Pakistan under the CSF head
in the last 10 years have been rejected by the US. The process of
approving bills consists of 10 steps and since 2001 the US has
reimbursed Pakistan for $9.772 billion on account of expenditure
incurred in fighting the war on terror.
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