US Committee Votes For Tougher Conditions For Aid To Pakistan
WASHINGTON: A key panel of Congress voted to impose stricter requirements on Pakistan for US aid and authorized the Secretary of State to suspend aid if Islamabad does not take effective action against terrorist groups.
The Appropriations Committee of the House yesterday approved the roll-call vote the bill on loans to government operations and foreign affairs in 2018, claiming that Rex Tillerson certification for disbursement of US aid to Pakistan, which determines Islamabad’s intervention against terrorist groups.
The measure now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
It provides $ 47 billion in regular funding and overseas emergency operations (OCO). This is $ 10 billion less than the amount planned for 2017, taking into account the additional funding provided last year in the Security Assistance Funds Act.
Of this amount, OCO funding is USD 12 billion, which supports operations and assistance in areas of conflict such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The bill stipulates that the funds not covered by this law under the “Economic Support Fund”, the “International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement” and the “Program Foreign Military Financing” for Pakistan may be available at least That the Secretary of State certifies that the committees of Islamabad Aux take action against terrorist groups.
According to the project, the Secretary of State is invited to certify that Pakistan is cooperating with the US. in counter-terrorism efforts against the Haqqani network and the Taliban Quetta Shura, Lashkar-e-Tayba, Jaish -e-Mohammed, al Qaeda, and others, including the adoption of effective measures to prevent these terrorist groups to establish and operate In Pakistan and to carry out attacks on the border of neighboring countries.
The Secretary of State is also required to certify that Pakistan is not supporting terrorist activities against US or coalition forces in Afghanistan, and military and Pakistani intelligence agencies do not imply extrajudicially in political processes and the judiciary in Pakistan.
The certification must include Pakistan “does not finance or are not compatible with linked to the Taliban schools or any terrorist group designated and Islamabad prevents the proliferation of nuclear materials and expertise. The bill says that the Secretary of State must” suspend Aid “to Pakistan if it fails to make measurable progress in meeting its benchmarks.
Although the Secretary of State may waive these conditions on behalf of the national interest, the bill provides that the funds allocated by this Act under the “Foreign Military Financing Program” for Pakistan may be available only to support the capacities against Terrorism and against the insurgency in the country.
This means that Pakistan could reach F-16 fighter jets with the help of the United States.
In an accompanying report, the Committee noted the continued importance of US assistance in securing and stabilizing Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Understanding that staffing and programming requirements in these countries will continue to be reviewed and, therefore, the Committee said that it had not designated specific funding recommendations.
The Committee urged “Voice of America” to consider expanding the dissemination of the Sindh language.