Sanjha Morcha

US Senate okays Bill to block $300 m aid to Pak

Washington, May 24

A Senate panel has approved a legislation that blocks $300 million military aid to Pakistan unless the Defence Secretary certifies to the Congress that Islamabad is taking “demonstrable” steps against the Haqqani terror network.The Senate Armed Services Committee — which renewed blockage of $300 million coalition support fund to Pakistan subject to action against the Haqqani network like previous year when it passed the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA)-2017 last week — has, however, argued in favour of continuing security assistance to Pakistan.(Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)“In recognition of the critical importance of the bilateral US-Pakistan relationship and the need for enhanced security and stability in Pakistan, the committee recommends a provision that would provide the Secretary of Defence the authority to reimburse Pakistan up to $800 million in fiscal year 2017 for certain activities that enhance the security situation in the northwest regions of Pakistan and along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border,” it said in a report.“The provision would also make $300 million of this amount contingent upon a certification from the Secretary of Defence that Pakistan is taking demonstrable steps against the Haqqani Network in Pakistan,” the report said.The NDAA-2017 is scheduled to come up before the Senate for voting, during which several Senators are expected to bring in amendments to this Bill. Senate version of the NDAA differed from that of the House on many issues, including Pakistan. While the House version of the Bill, which was passed last week, calls for blocking $450 million of the $900 million US aid to Pakistan in coalition support fund, the Senate version has reduced both figures to $300 million and $800 million, respectively.“The Defence Secretary has not taken a decision yet,” Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Devis told reporters when asked if Ashton Carter has issued the Congress- mandated certification.

‘Certify Pak is acting against Haqqani’

  • The National Defence Authorisation Act, 2016, which ends on September 30, makes it mandatory for the Defence Secretary to certify that Islamabad is taking action against the Haqqani network for the release of last $300 million of the coalition support fund to Pakistan