Washington leverage not as big as US believes, says report

WASHINGTON: Pakistan has claimed more than $23 billion of reimbursements from the US between 2001 and 2017 but only received a little more than half of its claims, about $14bn, shows a report based on official estimates of the reimbursements.

According to this report which has been made available to Dawn, in 2001-02, which was also the first year of the US-led war against terrorism, Pakistan claimed a total of $847.309 million and received $300m.

All reimbursements come from the Coalition Support Fund (CSF), which was created after the Sept 11, 2001 terrorist attack to reimburse an ally for its efforts to combat militancy.

Pakistan has been a major recipient of reimbursements from this fund. But earlier this month, the Trump administration suspended its security assistance to Pakistan, including reimbursements from the CSF.

In 2002-03, as the war intensified and cooperation between the two allies improved, the reimbursements increased as well. During the 2002-03 US fiscal year (Sept 30-Oct 1), Pakistan claimed $845.324m and received $847.154m.

In 2003-04, the claim was for $850.83m but the reimbursement was reduced to $753.14m.

In 2004-05, Pakistan claimed $1,014.880m but was reimbursed $830.521m.

In 2005-06, the reimbursement — $1070.418m — was higher than the claim $1,001.800m, as it was in 2006-07 when Pakistan claimed $1,115.620m and received $1,240.899m.

In 2007-08, Pakistan claimed $1,657.194m and received $655.076m. This trend continued in 2008-09 as well, when Pakistan claimed $1,908.408m and received $912.850m.

In 2009-10, the reimbursements were reduced further. Pakistan claimed $2,179.139m but received $1,293.986m.

From 2010-11, the gap between claims and reimbursements continued to grow. In 2010-11, Pakistan claimed $2,045.841m but received $743.262m.

In 2011-12, Pakistan claimed $2,027.440m but received no reimbursements. This was the year when the US discovered Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad and killed him without informing Pakistan. Relations between the two countries began to deteriorate rapidly.

Dues from 2011-12, however, were carried forward to the next fiscal year and in 2012-13 Pakistan claimed $1,555.438m but received $1,806.273m as the amount included reimbursements from the previous year.

In 2013-14, Pakistan claimed $1,542.851m and received $1,050.016m. In 2014-15, Pakistan claimed $1,663.738m and received $1,451.789m.

In 2015-16, Pakistan claimed $1,702.431m and received $936.144m. In 2016-17, Pakistan claimed $1,691.160m and received $550.000m.

Thus, from 2001 to 2017, Pakistan submitted total claims of $23,649.410m and received $14,441.528m as reimbursements from the Coalition Support Fund.

Historically, US economic assistance has remained around one per cent of Pakistan’s budget and Islamabad feels that this deficit can easily be met from other sources.