WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- A security assistance package of as much as $2 billion for Pakistan to fight extremists is under a final review, U.S. officials said.
The aid, a five-year financial package designed to help Pakistan fight extremists along its border with Afghanistan, is expected to be announced later this week when Pakistani officials visit Washington for high-level talks, CNN reported Tuesday.
U.S. officials said the package is meant to address Pakistan's claims it lacks the wherewithal to go after terrorists and needs more support from the United States, people familiar with the situation said. The aid will help Pakistan buy helicopters, weapons systems and equipment to intercept communications.
The funding is part of the U.S. Foreign Military Financing program, which provides grants and loans to countries to buy U.S.-produced weapons and defense equipment, officials said. The package also includes counterinsurgency assistance and a program under which members of the Pakistani military can study at U.S. war colleges.
The $2 billion package is in addition to the billions of dollars the United States provides Pakistan in military aid and a five-year, $7.5 billion aid package in non-military counter-terrorism assistance approved by Congress last year.
"They key is to beef up their ability to go after militants, it can't be diverted to other threats," one senior U.S. official said.