WASHINGTON: Following the US drone strike that killed Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mansour in Balochistan, the top Senate members on Tuesday introduced a new bill to block $300 million aid to Pakistan.
The resolution requires the secretary of defense to certify that Islamabad is taking demonstrative actions against the Haqqani Network.
The lower house also passed such a bill last week for the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) 2017. The next fiscal year NDAA is scheduled to come up before the Senate for voting as well, where several Senators are expected to bring similar amendments.
The house amendment wants secretary of defense to certify to Congress that Pakistan is not using its military or any funds or equipment provided by the US to persecute minority groups seeking political or religious freedom.
Earlier, the White House expressed objection to the bill saying, “the administration objects to section 1212 of HR 4919, which would make $450 million of CSF to Pakistan ineligible for the Secretary of Defense’s waiver authority unless the Secretary provides a certification to the Congressional defense committees.”
The Senate version of the NDAA 2016, that covers 300 million dollar out of Coalition Support Fund, already requires a certification that Pakistan was taking action against the Haqqani Network.
The renewed bill binds the Secretary of Defence to appear before the Congress and convince the lawmakers that Pakistan military has been taking demonstrated action against the Haqqani Network for them to release funds. The NDAA 2016 ends on September 30 this year.
The Pentagon spokesperson has reportedly commented that the defence secretary has not taken the decision regarding the certification yet.
Courtesy : TheNews