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US defence bill pledges $900 million to Pakistan, but with conditions

The US National Defence Authorisation Act, or NDAA, for the fiscal year 2017 was passed by the House of Representatives yesterday.


US defence bill pledges $900 million to Pakistan, but with conditions

Islamabad: The US House of Representatives on Friday passed a defence bill that pledges USD 900 million in economic and other assistance to Pakistan.

However, a major portion of the aid requires Pentagon to certify that Pakistan is conducting military operations to disrupt Afghanistan's militant Haqqani network.

The US National Defence Authorisation Act, or NDAA, for the fiscal year 2017 was passed by the House of Representatives yesterday.

The bill limits the overall amount available for reimbursement to USD 1.1 billion, of which USD 900 million is available for reimbursement to Pakistan.

Also Read: Pakistan not putting enough pressure on Haqqani network: US General

It extends Congressional notification and certification requirements regarding reimbursements to Pakistan.

The bill specifies that certain reimbursements to Pakistan are ineligible for a national security waiver unless Department of Defense makes specified certifications regarding the activities of Pakistan with respect to the Haqqani network.

According to a report, the bill would block USD 450 million in aid to Islamabad unless it does more to fight the Haqqani network, which lawmakers see as a major threat to US forces in Afghanistan.

This year, the amount was USD 300 million, which was not released after Defence Secretary Ashton Carter refused to certify in Pakistan's favour.

Also Read: US Senators 'frustrated' with 'duplicitous' Pakistan, say Islamabad knows where Haqqanis live

The bill is scheduled for a vote in the Senate next week. Since it is a consensus bill, it is unlikely to face any opposition.

The bill notes that the United States and Pakistan continue to have many critical shared interests, both economic- and security-related, which could be the foundation for a positive and mutually beneficial partnership."

In a conference report, which combines the House and Senate versions of a legislation, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain had underlined the importance of a continued relationship between the United States and Pakistan.

He noted that the bill "refocuses security assistance to Pakistan on activities that directly support US national security interests".

(With PTI inputs)

From Zee News

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