US Administration requests over $ 800 million for Pakistan in FY 2016 budget request

WASHINGTON: The Obama Administration on Monday requested more than $ 800 million in economic and security assistance for Pakistan in its financial year 2016 budget proposal sent to Congress, describing the South Asian country as key to success of counterterrorism and stability efforts in the region.

The allocation for Pakistan in the new financial year includes $ 534 million in civilian assistance and $ 307 million in security assistance.

For Pakistan, the Budget demonstrates our commitment to fostering stability and prosperity, and provides security assistance that promotes counterterrorism and counterinsurgency capabilities, a budget document said.

The Budget continues to support public engagement and partnership programs in Pakistan and maintains staffing in order to support these critical U.S. priorities, it said.

President Barack Obama’s FY 2016 Budget provides $50.3 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development, including $7.0 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations.

Pakistan will continue to be a key partner with the United States on counterterrorism and nuclear nonproliferation goals, and in achieving lasting stability and economic development in the region.

Funds will demonstrate the U.S. commitment to sustained, long-term engagement with Pakistan, throughout the transition in Afghanistan.

The funds will help increase the capacity of the Government of Pakistan (GOP) to respond to the economic, social, and security needs of its people.

Resources will further deepen the relationship between the United States and Pakistan and continue support for GOP reform efforts that are critical to stabilization, economic progress, and stability, the budget proposal said.

FY 2016 funds will build on the progress made in prior years through maintenance of the five-sector strategy that increases the generation and efficient use of energy, including through reform efforts, increasing stability in volatile areas threatened by extremism, fostering economic growth and agricultural production, raising the access to, delivery of, and quality of education, and improving the GOP’s ability to provide health care to its population.

Regarding security assistance for Pakistan, the document says given the ongoing transition in Afghanistan and continued terrorist attacks against civilian and military targets throughout Pakistan, the Foreign Military Financing is essential to Pakistan’s efforts to increase stability in its western border region and ensure overall stability within its own borders.

The $265 million Pakistan request in FY 2016 will enhance the Pakistan Army, Frontier Corps, Air Force, and Navy’s ability to conduct counterinsurgency (COIN) and counterterrorism (CT) operations against militants throughout its borders, especially in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, improve Pakistan’s ability to deter threats emanating from those areas, and encourage continued U.S.-Pakistan military-to-military engagement.

FMF will continue to focus on seven priority areas identified and agreed to with the Government of Pakistan, including precision strike, air mobility and combat search and rescue, counter improvised explosive device and battlefield survivability, battlefield communications, night operations, border security, and maritime security counternarcotics in support of CT aims.