WASHINGTON: The White House has quietly blocked yet another attempt to stifle US aid to Pakistan, saying that the congressional move will “severely constrict” America’s ability to combat terrorism in the South Asian region.
The proposed restriction was included in a resolution to amend the Department of Defence Appropriations Act, 2013.
The White House issued a statement on Thursday evening, noting that the resolution was seeking to impose new limitations on reimbursements to the government of Pakistan.
A section of the resolution would require the Secretary of Defence to certify Pakistan's cooperation on issues “outside of his purview and would severely constrict DOD's ability to respond to emergent war-time coalition support requirements”, the White House pointed out.
Earlier, the White House had rejected similar restriction in the House Armed Services Committee, warning that President Barack Obama might veto the measure even if Congress approved it.
In a similar move last month, some US lawmakers urged the Obama administration to cut off every cent of its aid to Pakistan but the State Department warned that doing so would jeopardise America’s vital national interests.US Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Dan Feldman reminded the lawmakers that it was a dangerous proposition.
“With a population of 190 million people, pockets of extremism, and nuclear capability, a stable and prosperous Pakistan is of critical importance to both our regional strategy and our direct national security interests,” he said.