The State Department said that the U.S. government has approved a resumption of Pakistan’s participation in the coveted US military training and educational program. After more than a year of suspension of the program, it now has been resumed.
This decision of resumption of Islamabad’s participation in the International Military Education and Training Programme, or IMET indicates that the meetings between US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Imran Khan have been fruitful.
The U.S. has given credit to Pakistan for helping in facilitating the negotiations on a US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. Recently the talks have resumed between the United States and the Taliban.
According to the State Department spokesperson, Trump’s 2018 decision to suspend security assistance authorized “narrow exceptions for programs that support vital US national security interests.”
She said that the decision to restore Pakistan’s participation in IMET was “one such exception”.
She said that the program, “provides an opportunity to increase bilateral cooperation between our countries on shared priorities. We want to continue to build on this foundation through concrete actions that advance regional security and stability.”
On the condition of anonymity, the second U.S. official said that Pakistan is in the process of selecting officers to send to the United States.
Now the resumption of this program is subject to approval by Congress. No comment has been given on the matter by the Republican and Democratic aides for the Senate and House of Representatives committees with jurisdiction over the process.
When Pakistan was suspended from the program back in August 2018 it led to the cancellation of 66 slots that were kept for Pakistani military officers.