US to block $450 million aid to Pakistan

US Cong to block $450 million aid to pak

The US Congress has initiated a move to block $450 million in aid to Pakistan. The move comes after Islamabad’s inability to take action or show any commitment against the Haqqani terror network.

The incident is yet another one of increasing animosity between the US and Pakistan.

A provision under the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) for 2017, if passed by the Congress, would not allow the US government to waive this condition in ‘national interest’.

The NDAA 2017 was passed by the House Armed Services Committee for reimbursement and support of $450 million authorised for Pakistan during the period from October 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017. It would not be eligible for a national security waiver unless the Defence Secretary certifies that Pakistan continues to conduct military operations against the Haqqani network in north Waziristan.

The Defence Secretary would need to certify that Pakistan is demonstrating commitment to prevent the Haqqani network from using north Waziristan as a safe haven. He would also need to certify that Pakistan is actively coordinating with Afghanistan to restrict the movement of militants, including the Haqqani network.

A similar certification is required for the current fiscal ending on September 31, for which the amount is $300 million. However, the Defence Secretary, has so far been unable to provide necessary certification for the release of such a fund to Pakistan. The House Armed Services Committee will continue to review reimbursements made to Pakistan and assess whether they are in sync with the future of US policy, including key counterterrorism and security objectives in the region.

On April 28, Washington had asked Islamabad to buy eight F-16s worth $700 million from its own funds. The US Congress’ latest decision came after top senators put a hold on the country’s taxpayers’ money to partially finance Pakistan.

 

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