US plans $3bn Pak military boost

* Funds will pay for helicopters, night-vision goggles, and training for special operations forces and FC 
* Mullen says Pakistan Army must change focus from India to insurgency

(DAILY TIMES)   WASHINGTON: The US Defence Department has a $3 billion plan to train and equip Pakistan’s military over the next five years, US media reported on Friday.

The funds would pay for helicopters, night-vision goggles and other equipment and counterinsurgency training for Pakistan’s special operations forces and Frontier Corps paramilitary troops, the New York Times said. It quoted Pentagon officials as saying that up to $500 million could come from a yearly emergency war budget that President Barack Obama’s administration would present to Congress next week.

But with some legislators expressing concern over the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund, the top US military officer acknowledged that the US had not mandated enough accountability for the funds. “There hasn’t been an audit trail, and there haven’t been accountability measures put in place, and there needs to be for all the funds,” Joint Chief of Staff Chairman (CJCSC) Admiral Mike Mullen told the Times’ editorial board. “So we’re going to do that. For this counterinsurgency money, which is important, it is critical that it goes for exactly that and nowhere else,” he added.

Mullen: Mullen said the Pakistan army must change its focus from fighting India to combating militants and insurgents within its borders. He said insurgents operating in safe havens in Pakistan were preparing attacks against Afghanistan and Pakistan. “The Taliban, in particular, are going both ways now,” he said. “They are coming toward Islamabad and they are actually going toward Kabul. I’m completely convinced that the vast majority of the leaders in Pakistan understand the seriousness of the threat.” The US has warned Islamabad that it must combat militant groups in return for economic and military aid.\04\18\story_18-4-2009_pg1_5

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