WASHINGTON: Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who tabled the Balochistan resolution in the US House of Representatives earlier this week, has a history of making anti-Pakistan moves in Congress but has not always been successful in achieving his objectives.
His failed attempts include a move to prohibit the use of funds meant for providing assistance to Pakistan.
But despite his efforts, the Department of Defence Appropriations Act, 2012, provides $1.1 billion to Pakistan from the counter-insurgency fund, which will remain available until Sept 30, 2013.
This fund will be available to the US Secretary of Defence, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, to provide assistance to Pakistan's security forces.
Although Mr Rohrabacher tried specifically to prevent Pakistan from using this fund for enhancing its defence capabilities, the act clearly states that the fund can be used for the provision of equipment, supplies, services and training.
The fund can also be used for facility and infrastructure repair, renovation, and construction to build the counter-insurgency capability of Pakistan's military and Frontier Corps.
Soon after US forces killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad on May 2, 2011, Mr Rohrabacher tabled an amendment in the House to prevent all assistance to Pakistan “under any provision of law”.
He accused Pakistan of not only having sheltered the Al Qaeda chief but also of trying to persuade President Hamid Karzai to “strategically move Afghanistan away from the United States and its ‘imperial designs’ and to ally with Pakistan’s ‘all-weather’ friend, the communist People's Republic of China”.
Mr Rohrabacher accused Pakistan of harbouring terrorists, launching attacks inside India and of selling nuclear technology to other nations.
The congressman pointed out that Pakistan had received over $18 billion in assistance over the past decade from the United States and was due to receive additional assistance.
“Pakistan through its ISI and military has shown itself to act against the interests of the United States by supporting terrorists who kill Americans and in other ways not befitting a recipient of United States aid,” he argued.
But the move failed and the US Congress did not cut off its civilian or military assistance to Pakistan.
On March 3, 2011, Mr Rohrabacher submitted a resolution, urging the government of Pakistan to release Raymond Davis, who shot and killed two Pakistani citizens in Lahore on Jan 27, 2011.
The Congressman urged the US House of Representatives to “freeze all US military assistance to Pakistan”, until Mr Davis was released.
The House did not endorse his request.
Like Mr Rohrabacher’s previous resolutions, the House has also sent the resolution on Balochistan to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, which will decide whether to entertain or reject it.
But unlike his previous moves, this is a concurrent resolution which cannot become a law. It can, however, be adopted to convey Congress’s dismay over the situation in Balochistan.
But to do so, it has to be approved by both the Senate and the House and so far it has not been moved in the Senate.