The Trump administration on Friday announced that it would be resuming the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program --a program for Pakistani military officials--along with some other assistance in security, which had been suspended in 2018. The suspension was seen as punishment for Pakistan's refusal to undertake significant measures against counter-terrorism.
Alice G. Wells, the US State Department's deputy assistant secretary for South and Central Asia, announced the resumption of the program with a tweet from the US State Department's account saying that President Trump authorized the training program to strengthen military-to-military cooperation on "shared priorities" and to "advance US national security."
But Wells added: "The overall security assistance suspension remains in effect."
Over $2 billion in aid to Pakistan was suspended by President Trump in January 2018 following a tweet in which Trump said Pakistan had repaid the US aid and assistance with “lies and deceit” about its counter-terrorism efforts.
Trump tweeted: "The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!"
The Hindustan Times reports that regional experts see the resumption of the program as an exchange for Pakistan's help with the Afghan peace process.
The news agency quoted a US State Department official saying: "The President’s security assistance suspension announced in January 2018 authorized narrow exceptions for programs that support vital US national security interests."
The official also said: “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,” adding: “IMET serves as an effective means to strengthen long term military-to-military relationships critical to US national security goals.”