US house body passes bill to ‘punish’ Pakistan
Washington: A US Congressional Committee has passed a bill that imposes conditions on Pakistan for receiving American economic and military aid, which will depend on the action Islamabad takes against terrorists and the menace of improvised explosive devices.
The Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) 2013, which determines the defence budget for the fiscal 2013, was approved by the House Armed Services Committee following a marathon debate, reports a newspaper.
"The bill places appropriate conditions on aid to Pakistan. It is imperative that Pakistan support our counterterrorism efforts and work to prevent the interdiction of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to Afghanistan," said House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member, Adam Smith.
It also seeks certification from the Defence Secretary that Pakistan is committed to supporting counterterrorism operations against al Qaeda, its associated movements, the Haqqani Network, dismantling improvised explosive device (IED) networks, interdicting precursor chemicals used in the manufacture of IEDs, and preventing proliferation of nuclear-related material and expertise.
The bill also prohibits the preferential procurement of goods or services from Pakistan till Islamabad re-opens the NATO supply routes to Afghanistan, which were closed in the aftermath of the death of 24 Pakistani soldiers on November 26 in a NATO cross border fire.
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