In a case of the USA tightening the screws on Pakistan, the US house of Representatives has voted in amendments to make their defence funding to Pakistan, conditional.
The three amendments which the US legislative body has voted, would make it tougher for Pakistan to get its share of the defence fund which the US doles out. Pakistan has been sanctioned a total of $400 million in form of the defense fund for the October 2017-December 2018 fiscal.
In order to receive the funding, Pakistan would have to show sufficient progress in fighting terrorism, a tall ask considering Pakistan still continues to provide a VIP treatment to various designated terrorists including Syed Salahuddin. The conditions put forth by America are related to Pakistan’s support of terror organisation and terrorists about which US lawmakers have continually expressed concerns.
These legislative amendments were made to the $651 billion National Defense Authorization Act which is used to authorize America’s defense expenses. Before Pakistan is released this aid, the secretary of defense needs to certify that Pakistan is:
- Maintaining security along the ground lines of communication throughout the country
- Taking demonstrable steps in support of counter-terrorism, foiling cross border attacks and is countering the threats of improvised explosive devices
- Committed in preventing the Haqqani network from using the North Waziristan province as a safe haven
- Coordinating with the Afghani government in restricting the movement of terrorists along the Pak-Afghan border
- Not using the funds, equipment provided to persecute minority groups asking for political and religious freedom
And the most significant one:
- The funding would be withheld if the defense secretary cannot certify that Pakistan is not “providing military, financial, or logistical support to any individuals designated by the US as a terrorist operating in Pakistan or Afghanistan”.
This isn’t the only time, the US has tried to reign in the aid provided to Pakistan. Recently we had reported how US President Donald Trump had proposed that the US grant to Pakistan for purchase of military hardware, into a loan. Pakistan was somewhat singled out in this regard as the aid would continue normally for countries like Egypt and Israel.