Islamabad, Pakistan: The Trump administration has suspended more than a decade-long military training programme of Pakistani personnel at the US institutions, a media report said today, days after Islamabad and Moscow signed an agreement to allow Pakistani troops to receive training at the Russian defence centres.
Pakistan and Russia signed an agreement on Tuesady at their first Joint Military Consultative Committee (JMCC) meeting in Rawalpindi during which the two sides discussed the present status of the bilateral defence relations and agreed that Pakistani troops will receive training at the Russian military training institutes.
The relations between Pakistan and the US nosedived this January after President Donald Trump accused Islamabad of giving nothing to Washington but “lies and deceit” and providing “safe haven” to terrorists.
The US Congress also passed a bill to slash Pakistan’s defence aid to USD 150 million, significantly below the historic level of more than USD one billion per year.
The suspension of the training first became apparent when the US National Defence University (NDU) in Washington, which has had reserved seats for Pakistani officers for more than a decade, told the outgoing Pakistani officers that the varsity has been asked to fill the positions for the next year with officers from other nations.
The NDU is one of several US military institutions that train officers from Pakistan.
The Trump administration had announced early this year that it was suspending security assistance to Pakistan over differences on Afghanistan but indicated that training programmes for military officers will continue.
The cancellation of slots kept aside for Pakistani officers, however, shows that the suspension now also applies to training programmes, the report said.
Pakistani officers have been receiving military training and education in the US since early 1960s, which were suspended in the 1990s but restored after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
US military institutions also proudly owned training officers who assumed senior positions after returning home, such as former Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar, the current director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence, the report said.
(With inputs from PTI)