US suspends $800 mn in Pakistan military aid

WASHINGTON, July 10, 2011 (AFP) – The United States is withholding some $800 million in aid to Pakistan, almost a third of the $2.7 billion in security assistance it provides each year to Islamabad, President Barack Obama’s chief of staff confirmed Sunday. Relations between the key allies, always tricky, have drastically deteriorated since US commandos shot and killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on May 2 in a Pakistani garrison town, sowing distrust on both sides.

Last month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that Washington would slow down US military aid to Pakistan unless it took unspecified steps to help the United States.

Now, it appears, it has, as William Daley, Obama’s chief of staff, confirmed a New York Times report that the administration was suspending and, in certain cases, canceling some $800 million of military aid.

“They’ve taken some steps that have given us reason to pause on some of the aid which we’re giving to the military, and we’re trying to work through that,” Daley told ABC’s “This Week With Christiane Amanpour” program. “The truth of the matter is, our relationship with Pakistan is very complicated,” Daley said.

“Obviously there’s still a lot of pain that the political system in Pakistan is feeling b