US cuts $800 million aid to Pakistan
Washington: A Congressional Committee in its budgetary proposals for the year 2013 has prohibited economic and security assistance to Pakistan till it co-operates with the US in the fight against terrorism.
In a move that could affect the US-Pakistan ties further, a House panel on Wednesday moved to block the USD 800 million aid that was requested for a special fund for training and equipping Pakistan`s military in counterinsurgency tactics.
The new move clearly suggests that the US lawmakers are apprehensive of Pakistan’s actions against containing terrorism. The US-Pak relationship has hit a new low amidst Washington’s unilateral raid in Abbottabad that killed Osama bin Laden last year.
According to a news agency, Rep Jesse Jackson Jr, D-Ill, accused Pakistan of "harboring a fugitive" and likened the US-Pakistan relationship to a "bad marriage."
According to the bill, none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act to Pakistan may be made available unless the Secretary of State certifies that Pakistan is cooperating with US on counter-terrorism efforts against the Haqqani Network, the Taliban, Lashkar e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, al Qaeda and other terror groups, including taking steps to end support for such groups and prevent them from basing and operating in Pakistan and carrying out cross border attacks into neighbouring countries.
Other conditions include Pakistan taking strong action against IEDs, which is said to be responsible for most American casualties in Afghanistan.
The bill also seeks a set of benchmarks for Pakistan from the government and if these benchmarks are not met, the US aid to Pakistan would be suspended.
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