Anti Pakistan initiative launched in US Congress faces setback

Anti Pakistan initiative launched in US Congress faces setback

The attempt to undermine Pakistan through an anti-Pakistan initiative faced a setback within the chambers of the US Congress. US Secretary of State, Anthony Blanken, reiterated the United States' stance, making it abundantly clear that the US does not endorse any regime change efforts in Pakistan. This development comes amidst a significant legislative moment in which Congressman Andy Ogles, a Republican representing Tennessee, proposed a measure to freeze aid to Pakistan within the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Act of 2024. However, this proposition was ultimately defeated during a recorded vote in the House of Representatives.

A noteworthy aspect of this outcome is the bipartisan consensus that emerged within the Congress. Members of both the Democratic and Republican parties united in their rejection of the aid freeze proposal, with an overwhelming 298 votes against it, compared to 132 votes in favor. This bipartisan solidarity underscored the significance of maintaining support for Pakistan in the eyes of US lawmakers.

During this crucial debate, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Congresswoman Barbara Lee emerged as staunch advocates for the continuation of aid to Pakistan. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee argued passionately against the initiative, dismissing it as misleading and asserting that the views expressed by her colleagues did not accurately represent the government and people of Pakistan.

She emphasized the longstanding bilateral relationship between the United States and Pakistan, which has spanned decades and encompassed cooperation in diverse fields such as defense, counter-terrorism, trade, investment, and agriculture. Congresswoman Jackson Lee highlighted the sacrifice of many Pakistani soldiers during the Afghan war and stressed that bilateral relations were progressing positively.

Adding to the chorus of support for Pakistan, Barbara Lee articulated the crucial role of Pakistan's assistance in regional stability, combating extremism, and fostering peace and security. She pointed out that for the fiscal year 2024, a substantial allocation of $135 million was designated for Pakistan. These funds were earmarked for various programs, including economic assistance, anti-narcotics efforts, military education and training, anti-terrorism initiatives, and healthcare programs.

In summary, the defeat of the proposal to freeze aid to Pakistan in the US Congress was a testament to the bipartisan recognition of the importance of the US-Pakistan relationship. The arguments put forth by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Congresswoman Barbara Lee highlighted the multifaceted cooperation between the two nations and underscored the vital role Pakistan plays in regional stability and counterterrorism efforts. This legislative episode reaffirmed the enduring ties between the United States and Pakistan.