US Congress caps security related aid to Pakistan

US Congress caps security related aid to Pakistan
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WASHINGTON - The US Congress has passed a defence spending bill capping its security-related aid to Pakistan at $150 million, significantly below the historic level of more than $1 billion per year.

The National Defense Authorisation Act-2019 (NDAA-19), however, removes certain conditions – like action against Haqqani Network orthe Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) -- as was the case in the past few years for disbursement of US aid to Pakistan .

The Senate passed the conference report on NDAA-19 by 87 to 10 votes Wednesday afternoon. The House of Representatives had passed the conference report link week. It now heads to the White House for President Donald Trump’s assent.

“The legislation reduces the total amount of funds provided for reimbursement to Pakistan to $150 million. This is a significant reduction from the $700 million that was authorised through Coalition Support Fund (CSF) last year,” Anish Goel, who was part of Barack Obama’s White House National Security Council, told PTI.

However, in doing so, the legislation gets rid of the certification requirements for Pakistan’s action against the Haqqani Network and it also gets rid of the authority to reimburse Pakistan for counter-terrorism, he said.

“Hence, the Pentagon no longer has any tools to put pressure on Pakistan to undertake counter-terrorism activities or action against the Haqqani Network,” Goel, who till recently was a senior staffer in the Senate Armed Services Committee, said.

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