Mubashar Choudry raises CSF issue with Armed Services Committee

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Islamabad/DNA

Renowned Pakistani American cardiologist Dr Mubashar Choudry raised the issue of Coalition Support Fund with the Vice Chairman of House Armed Services Committee, Congressman Anthony Brown. Dr Choudry raised this matter in a fundraiser arranged by a young Pakistani American politician for Congressman Anthony Brown.

The United States has suspended “security assistance” to Pakistan in Jan 2018 for failing to take decisive action against Taliban militants targeting US personnel in neighboring Afghanistan. Since then, Pakistan has also not got any funds of CSF which the US pays to Pakistan to reimburse it for its counterterrorism operations.

Dr Choudry was of the view that being ally of United States, Pakistan fought in “war against terrorism” and sacrificed thousand of civilian and military lives and now when Afghan peace process is in final stage, United States should resume security cooperation with Pakistan.

US Special Representative Ambassador Khalilzad in his recent visit to Pakistan expressed appreciation on behalf of the United States, especially the important role that Prime Minister Imran Khan and Gen Bajwa played in facilitating Afghan negotiations.

Commenting on the remarks of Dr Choudry, the Vice Chair of Armed Services Committee Congressman Anthony Brown said that Pakistani forces have made significant sacrifices in recent years in the counterterrorism fight and reclaim parts of Pakistan previously held by militant groups. “Sacrifices made by Pakistani soldiers and unfortunately civilians”, he observed.

“Pakistan has taken action against externally focused militant groups and many terrorist organizations that have been designated by the United Nations, the Congressman said. He noted that many Pakistani lives have been lost in that effort.

He recalled that in early January 2018 the United States suspended security assistance to Pakistan. “Security assistance is important, it includes foreign military financing which funds purchases of US military hardware, training, and services, it also includes Coalition Support Fund. “The suspension does not include civilian assistance”, he added.

The Congressman termed US-Pakistan relations particularly important for regional stability. “United States is one the largest source of foreign direct investment in Pakistan, in a variety of areas: consumer goods, energy, agriculture and we are Pakistan’s largest export market. “Trade relations between our two countries continue to grow”.

During the conversation with Congressman the host of the evening Fundi Choudry talked about the situation of Jammu and Kashmir and suggested sanctions on India for committing crimes against humanity in that region.

“Congressman Brown pledged to sign on to “House Resolution” on 745 which urges the detention and lockdown in Kashmir to end so we are pleased with that, we also discussed US pullout from Afghanistan and Pakistan’s role in the peace process and also India China tensions were discussed, Fundi Choudry told this correspondent.

To a question, Mr Fundi Choudry said that it was a wide ranging discussion and we will continue to bring more congress members into the fold and continue to gather the support for issues important to us.