US Congressman Ted Poe has said that Pakistan does not deserve a single dollar of American tax payers’ money, if it is unable to take action against the dreaded Haqqani network.
Ted Poe, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee Chairman, accused Pakistan of doing little to go after the Haqqani network which has killed more Americans in Afghanistan than any other terrorist group.
“The Haqqani Network has killed more Americans in Afghanistan than any other terrorist group, but the government of Pakistan has done little to go after it, despite taking some USD 33 billion of United States’ money since 9/11,” Ted Poe said in a statement.
“My bipartisan amendment limits foreign aid to Pakistan until the Administration certifies that Pakistan has shown progress in arresting and prosecuting Haqqani Network senior leaders and mid-level operatives,” he said.
“If Pakistan is not willing to publicly arrest and prosecute members of the Haqqani Network instead of actively supporting them, then it does not deserve a single dollar of American taxpayer money,” Poe said.
“We need to be evaluating how all American foreign aid is spent,” he said, adding that a big part of making sure quality evaluations are being done is by having an evaluation policy that lays out the standards.
“It is a basic, common sense idea, but the Department of Defence has yet to institute such a policy. My bipartisan amendment encourages such a policy because Americans have the right to know what bang for the buck every taxpayer dollar is getting,” Poe said.
Poe was one of the architects of the move under which the US Congress has made it mandatory for Defence Secretary to issue a certification that Pakistan is taking steps against the Haqqani network for it to release USD 450 million of the USD 900 million coalition support fund to Pakistan for the fiscal year 2017.
The certification as part of the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) – 2017 was passed by the House of Representative last week and is expected to be passed by the Senate this week before heading to the White House for the US President Barack Obama to sign it into law.
(With PTI inputs)