WASHINGTON: A proposed new law that has the White House’s approval seeks to fiscally squeeze Pakistan if interruptions to the US/Nato ground supply route through Pakistan continue.

In addition, the US National Defence Authorisation Bill of 2014 seeks a certification from the US defence secretary that Pakistan is taking demonstrable actions against Al Qaeda and other militant groups active along the Pak-Afghan border.

The development comes on the heels of Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel’s recent visit to Pakistan during which he was reported to have warned of the mood in the US Congress souring on Pakistan.

The bill, already approved by the House of Representatives, includes a one-year extension for reimbursing Pakistan for supporting the US-led war against terrorists.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the White House noted that “the bill will … support (US) capacity building efforts with foreign military forces, and support contingency or stability operations.”

The bill includes a section which extends funding Pakistan’s counter-terrorism activities for one year with certain modifications.

In a section titled “Limitation on amounts available”, it reduces the amount available for reimbursing Pakistan from $1.65 billion in 2013 to $1.5bn in 2014.

It also says that no amounts authorised to be appropriated by this bill, and no amounts authorised to be appropriated for fiscal years before 2014 that remain available for obligation, may be used for reimbursing Pakistan, until the US secretary of defence certifies to the congressional defence committees each of the following:

(A) That Pakistan is maintaining security and is not through its actions or inactions at any level of government limiting or otherwise restricting the movement of US equipment and supplies along the Ground Lines of Communications (GLOCs) through Pakistan to Afghanistan so that such equipment and supplies can be trans-shipped and such equipment and supplies can be retrograded out of Afghanistan.

(B) That Pakistan is taking demonstrable steps to:

(i) Support counterterrorism operations against Al Qaeda, Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and other militant extremists groups such as the Haqqani Network and the Quetta Shura Taliban located in Pakistan;

ii) Disrupt the conduct of cross-border attacks against United States, coalition and Afghanistan security forces located in Afghanistan by such groups (including the Haqqani Network and the Quetta Shura Taliban) from bases in Pakistan;

(iii) Counter the threat of IEDs, including efforts to attack IED networks, monitor known precursors used in IEDs, and systematically address the misuse of explosive materials (including calcium ammonium nitrate) and accessories and their supply to legitimate end-users in a manner that impedes the flow of IEDs and IED components into Afghanistan; and (iv) Conduct cross-border coordination and communication with Afghan security forces and US armed forces in Afghanistan.

The bill also requires the secretary to certify that Pakistan is not using its military or any funds or equipment provided by the US to persecute minority groups for their legitimate and non-violent political and religious beliefs, including the Baloch, Sindhi, and Hazara ethnic groups and minority religious groups, including Christian, Hindu and members of the Ahmadiya community.

The bill, however, authorises the US secretary of defence to waive the limitation if the secretary certifies to the congressional defence committees in writing that the waiver is in the national security interests of the United States and includes with such certification a justification for the waiver.

“Although the bill includes a number of provisions that restrict or limit the Defence Department’s ability to align military capabilities and force structure with the president’s strategy and implement certain efficiencies, overall the administration is pleased with the modifications and improvements contained in the bill,” the White House said.

The bill addresses “most of the administration’s significant objections with earlier versions regarding these issues and the administration supports passage of the legislation,” it added.

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Comments are closed.

Comments (10)

piddler
December 20, 2013 9:24 am

Pakistan is a bridge where you pay toll after crossing it. Consider this before you pretend to be statigically important.

Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad
December 20, 2013 9:45 am

The centuries old universal rule of economics based on 'free economy principle and design' states that there is "no free lunch" and that's why anybody or everybody including the current or future U.S. administration will also have to abide by it. Moreover, in the global world of today, there are no friends or enemies except clash of interests that actually bread friendship or animosity among various countries including the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The sooner the 'movers and shakers' in Islamabad understand, know, comprehend, realize and apprehend it, the better.

Shah
December 20, 2013 10:58 am

Pakistani economy has lost over 100 billion dollars. The 10-11 billion dollars from US are peanuts in comparison. Anyway, history is about to repeat it self: after the Afghan war Americans will again distance them selves and even put sanctions on the Pakistani people. The on-and-off relations will continue until the Afghan pullout.

Sarfraz
December 20, 2013 3:06 pm

No problem. What difference does it make if USA suspends reimbursements! These does not reach the people of Pakistan anyway. Why should common person worry??

Saad(DXB)
December 20, 2013 7:13 pm

This bill is extremely insulting and humiliating. Fits the Pakistani Government right it seems... When a country and its people become used to charity and stop believing in themselves, they must take whatever does or doesn't come their way. Thar Coal, Gold in Baluchistan, Gemstones in Swat, Gawadar Port, Kalabagh Dam, there are literally dozens of untapped sources to prosperity right in front of you, but you are happy to beg and borrow, and not to work. What a self-harming nation Pakistan has become

Just Someone
December 20, 2013 10:19 pm

@Shah: I am pretty sure that as soon as the Americans move out from Afghanistan, they will start pressing their foot on our necks again.

Haris
December 20, 2013 11:40 pm

@piddler: Well done!! never thought of it that way!

n.qureshi
December 21, 2013 6:11 am

@Shah: what do you have to offer

Adam
December 21, 2013 6:48 am

The US and Pak relationship is filled with mysteries, I see many disconnections between intentions, policy making, executions.

Haider
December 21, 2013 10:48 am

Reimbursement is mostly for the benefit of those who are in power which is the current so called free democratic government and the military. A more beneficial aid that could have effective trickle down effects would be transfer of technology in the fields of agriculture, power generation, mining and defence. Still its a shame that Pakistan remains a beggar state and that too towards the country which realistically has done us more harm then India.

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