Trump administration approves resumption of military training programme for Pakistan

WASHINGTON: The Trump administration has approved resumption of its military training programme for Pakistani security personnel at the American institutions, US officials said here on Friday.

The Trump administration had in August 2018 suspended the more than a decade-long International Military Education and Training (IMET) programme for Pakistani personnel at the US institutions, days after Islamabad and Moscow signed an agreement to allow Pakistani troops to receive training at the Russian defence centres.

The administration has approved the resumption of the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program for Pakistan as one such exception, subject to Congressional approval, a State Department spokesperson said.

The spokesperson noted that the President’s security assistance suspension announced in January 2018 authorized narrow exceptions for programmes that support vital US national security interests.

The US suspended about USD 2 billion in security aid to Pakistan for failing to clamp down on the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network terror groups and dismantle their safe havens. The resumption of IMET provides an opportunity to increase bi-lateral cooperation between our countries on our shared priorities, the spokesperson added.

IMET serves as an effective means to strengthen long term military-to-military relationships critical to US national security goals, the spokesperson said. We want to continue to build this foundation through concrete actions that advance regional security and stability, said the State Department Spokesperson in response to a question. PTI