Pakistan receives $349.3 million from U.S.

KARACHI (BestGrowthStock) – Pakistan received on Wednesday $349.3 million from the United States as part of a fund to help the U.S. ally sustain efforts to fight Islamist militancy, a central bank official said on Wednesday.

“We have received $349.3 million as reimbursement from the U.S. for the coalition support fund,” said Syed Wasimuddin, chief spokesman for the State Bank of Pakistan.

The U.S. fund is used to reimburse states such as Pakistan that have incurred costs in supporting counter-terrorist and counter-insurgency operations.

Pakistan had in recent months been complaining that the United States was behind on payments. The United States said there had been some delays for administrative reasons.

Last month, President Asif Ali Zardari told U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke that the war on militancy had cost Pakistan $35 billion in the last eight years.

According to official figures, the United States has given Pakistan $15.4 billion since 2002, about two-thirds security-related and the rest economic aid.

That figure does not include the $349.3 million received on Wednesday.

Pakistan has been struggling to get its economy back since 2008 when the government agreed to an International Monetary Fund loan of $7.6 billion. The loan was increased to $11.3 billion in July last year.

The rupee hit a record low of 85.15 this month and dealers said the inflow from the United States was likely to help keep the rupee firm in the short-term but the medium-term outlook remained weak.

The rupee was trading at 85.05/10 to the dollar at 0640 GMT compared with Tuesday’s close of 85.03/05.

The rupee has lost 1 percent against the dollar this year after losing 6.17 percent last year and a 22.12 percent slide in 2008.

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(Reporting by Sahar Ahmed; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Pakistan receives $349.3 million from U.S.