WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration has approved a resumption of Pakistan's participation in a coveted US military training and educational programme more than a year after it was suspended, the State Department said.
The decision to resume Islamabad's participation in the International Military Education and Training Program, or IMET - for more than a decade a pillar of US-Pakistani military ties - underscores warming relations that have followed meetings this year between US President Donald Trump and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Washington also has credited Islamabad with helping to facilitate negotiations on a US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. The talks recently resumed between the United States and the Taliban, who US officials say receive sanctuary and other aid from the Pakistan's military-led intelligence agency. Pakistan denies the charge.
The State Department administers IMET. It was a small facet of US security aid programmes for Pakistan worth some $2 billion that remain suspended on orders that Trump abruptly issued in January 2018 to compel the nuclear-armed South Asian nation to crackdown on militants. Trump's decision, announced in a tweet, blindsided US officials.
A State Department spokeswoman said in an email that Trump's 2018 decision to suspend security assistance authorised 'narrow exceptions for programmes that support vital US national security interests.' The decision to restore Pakistani participation in IMET was 'one such exception,' she said.
The programme 'provides an opportunity to...