WASHINGTON — The U.S. has quietly decided to release more than $1.6 billion in military and economic aid to Pakistan that was suspended when relations between the two countries disintegrated over the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and deadly U.S. airstrikes against Pakistani soldiers.
Officials and congressional aides said ties have improved enough to allow the money to flow again.
Congress has cleared most of the money, and it should start moving early next year, officials and congressional aides said.
American and NATO supply routes to Afghanistan are open. Controversial U.S. drone strikes are down. The U.S. and Pakistan recently announced the restart of their “strategic dialogue” after a long pause.
Pakistan’s new prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, is traveling to Washington for talks this coming week with President Barack Obama.
But in a summer dominated by foreign policy debates over the coup in Egypt and chemical weapons attacks in Syria, the U.S. hasn’t promoted its revamped aid relationship with Pakistan. Neither has Pakistan.
The silence reflects the lingering mutual suspicions between the two.
The Pakistanis do not like being seen as dependent on their heavy-handed partners. The Americans are uncomfortable highlighting the billions provided to a government that is plagued by corruption and perceived as often duplicitous in fighting terrorism.