WASHINGTON: The US Congress has passed a $716.3 billion defence spending bill, capping its security-related aid to Pakistan at $150 million, which is significantly below the historic level of more than $1 billion per year.
“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 last year,” said Anish Goel, who was part of Barack Obama’s White House National Security Council.
The National Defense Authorisation Act-2019 (NDAA-19), however, removed certain conditions—like action against Haqqani Network or the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
The US Senate passed the conference report on NDAA-19 by 87 to 10 votes on Wednesday, which later sent to the White House for President Donald Trump’s assent. While The House of Representatives had passed the report last week.
Pakistan, during the Obama administration, used to get nearly 1.2 billion aid from the US under the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009 also known as the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Act.
In August last year, US President Donald Trump unveiled his new South Asia policy and asked Pakistan to do more against terror groups.
On Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cautioned the IMF against a possible bailout for Pakistan’s new government to pay off Chinese lenders who have invested in the strategic China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.