In advance of Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif's meeting with President Obama, State Department officials stated that they intend to give the country a $1.6 billion aid package. The aid package is to reinstate programs that have been stopped ever since relations between the two country's turned icy following multiple events including but not limited to the CIA's drone program and the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden's compound.
According to the Associated Press, the cutoff of aid to Pakistan was not precipitated by a single event, but officials point to increased cooperation from the country over the past couple of years. Those relations are supposed to be cultivated further on Wednesday, although the decision to provide aid was arrived upon before Sharif's visit was even on the schedule.
From The New York Times:
Marie Harf, a State Department spokeswoman, said the renewed aid was “part of a long process of restarting security assistance cooperation after implementation was slowed during the bilateral challenges of 2011 and 2012.”
The relationship with Pakistan struck a low point in 2011, when a C.I.A. contractor shot and killed two Pakistanis in Lahore, the Navy SEAL team killed Bin Laden in Abbottabad and an errant American airstrike killed 24 Pakistani soldiers near the Afghan border.
"Bilateral challenges" indeed. Pakistan had at one point blocked all American and NATO supplies from entering the country, causing them to accumulate at the border. The stoppage of aid was restricted to military and security assistance, and civilian aid was not interrupted during that time. For the new fiscal year, Obama has requested an aid package of almost $1.2 billion, about a quarter of which is for security purposes.
Sharif met with Secretary of State John Kerry briefly on Sunday, but did not provide any statement on the matter.