Reflecting a new bonhomie in bilateral ties which got a big boost by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's recent visit to Washington, a high-powered defense delegation is scheduled to visit the Pentagon later this week for the next round of crucial meeting of the Defense Consultative Group.
    
The US-Pakistan Defense Consultative Group meeting tentatively would give a final shape to the five-year security assistance plan, developed during a meeting of defense officials of the two countries in February and is believed to zero in on the military hardware that the US would be providing to Pakistan.
    
Informed sources said after two meetings in the last one year Defense Consultative Group in December 2012 and Defense Resourcing Conference in February 2013 officials of US and Pakistan were able to develop a joint five-year plan for how security assistance would feed into defense cooperation on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism issues and to help build Pakistan's capabilities in these areas.
    
Officials from Pakistan and the US during these two meetings identified seven broad areas of security assistance cooperation, which sources said initially covered 11 areas.
    
It is part of this decision that the Obama Administration this summer (July-August) informed the Congress of a number of appropriations related to security assistance to Pakistan.
    
This totaled about USD 1.4 billion in military assistance of which roughly USD 425 million was in Pakistan counter- insurgency and capabilities fund (PCCF) and the rest about USD 1 billion was in foreign military financing (FMF).
    
In addition, the notifications included roughly USD 260 million of civilian assistance, of which USD 230 million focused on energy programming for Pakistan and USD 30 million was the State Department funding for civilian police programmes.
    
In September, the US also released to Pakistan USD 322 million as a reimbursement for military expenses made by Pakistan towards America's war against terrorism.
    
During these meetings, US and Pakistani officials agreed that the equipment security assistance would support seven core capabilities like night vision, precision strike, counter IED, survivability, border security, communications and maritime operations, maritime security.

(Agencies)

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