The Pentagon on May 24 said that the security assistance to Pakistan that was suspended by the previous Trump administration remains to be the same. While speaking at a press conference, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby informed that US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke to Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and discussed shared regional interests and objectives. However, he also said that at this time, the US security assistance to Pakistan is still suspended.
Kirby responded to a question if the Biden administration has reviewed the policy in this regard of the previous Trump administration and if there are any changes in it or was this issue on the table during talks with the Pakistani leadership. It is worth mentioning that former US President Donald Trump, back in 2018, had suspended all security assistance to Pakistan. Trump had argued that he was not satisfied with the latter's cooperation and role in the fight against terrorism.
On Monday, Kirby said, “At this time, the US security assistance to Pakistan is still suspended. I will not get into speculating one way or another about if or whether that will change going forward”.
Meanwhile, Austin spoke with Pakistani General Bajwa and reiterated his appreciation for Pakistan’s support to the Afghanistan peace negotiations. He expressed his desire to continue to build on the US-Pakistan bilateral relationship. According to a statement, Austin and Bajwa also discussed regional dynamics and shared interest in security and stability in the region.
Today I had the chance to speak with Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa. I reiterated my appreciation for the U.S. – Pakistan relationship and my desire to continue to work together to further regional security and stability. pic.twitter.com/wYq3oLaiNZ— Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (@SecDef) May 24, 2021
A day earlier, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met his Pakistani counterpart in Geneva. Spokesperson of the National Security Council Emily Horne said that the US and Pakistan discussed a range of bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest. They even spoke about ways to advance practical cooperation and agreed to continue with the conversation.