USA adopted bill for tightening restrictions on US assistance to Pakistan

Published: 05:37 GMT, Jul 16, 2017 |

The United States House of Representatives has voted for three legislative amendments to impose tougher conditions for reimbursement of defence funding to Pakistan, adding a caveat that Islamabad should make satisfactory progress in the fight against terrorism.

The conditions are related to Pakistan’s support to terrorists and terror outfits, about which several top U.S. officials and lawmakers have repeatedly expressed concern.

All the three legislative amendments to the $ 651 billion National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) 2018 were adopted by voice vote by the lower house of Congress on Friday.

The NDAA-2018, which authorises the annual defence expenses for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2017 was adopted by the House 344-81.

The Bill, as passed by the House, requires the Secretary of Defence to certify, prior to making any reimbursement, that Islamabad is maintaining security along the Ground Lines of Communication, taking demonstrable steps to support counter-terrorism operations, disrupting cross-border attacks, and countering the threat of improvised explosive devices.

It also specifies that of the total amount of reimbursement and support authorised for Pakistan in the period beginning October 1, 2017, and ending December 31, 2018, $ 400 million would not be eligible for a national security waiver unless the Secretary of Defence certifies that Pakistan continues to conduct military operations against the Haqqani Network in North Waziristan.

The Defence Secretary also needs to certify that Pakistan is demonstrating commitment to preventing the network from using North Waziristan as a safe haven, and is actively coordinating with the government of Afghanistan to restrict the movement of militants, including the Network, along the Pakistan-Afghan border.