The US Congress has conditioned a portion of Pakistan funding saying it can’t release the aid amount unless the defence secretary certifies that Islamabad is taking ‘demonstrable steps’ against the Haqqani network.
PTI reported that the US Congress has said that Pakistan will become eligible for USD 400 million (Rs 2700 crore) of the USD 900 million (Rs 6077 croe) of the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) only after the confirmation of significant actions against the terror group, which is accused of targeting American interests.
Passed by the Senate by 92 to 7 votes yesterday, the 2017 National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) in facts imposes four conditions on Pakistan.
As per NDAA-2017, the defence secretary needs to certify to the Congress that Pakistan continues to conduct military operations that are contributing to significantly disrupting the safe haven and freedom of movement of the Haqqani network in Pakistan and that Pakistan has taken steps to demonstrate its commitment to prevent the group from using its territory.
The defence secretary also needs to certify that Pakistan actively coordinates with Afghanistan to restrict the movement of militants, such as the Haqqani network, along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border; and finally that Pakistan has shown progress in arresting and prosecuting Haqqani network senior leaders and mid-level operatives.
US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter had refused to give a similar certification to Pakistan this year as a result of which Islamabad was not given a USD 300 million under CSF.
The Haqqani network has carried out a number of kidnappings and attacks against US interests in Afghanistan.
The group is also blamed for several deadly attacks against Indian interests in Afghanistan, including the 2008 bombing of the Indian mission in Kabul that killed 58 people.
NDAA-2017 "refocuses security assistance to Pakistan on activities that directly support US national security interests and conditions a significant portion of funding on a certification from the secretary of defence that Pakistan is taking demonstrable steps against the Haqqani Network in Pakistani territory," said Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
NDAA allows for reimbursement of Pakistan for security activities along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, including providing training and equipment for the Pakistan Frontier Corps in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Passed by the US House of Representatives (by 375 to 34 votes) last week, NDAA 2017 now heads to the White House for President Barack Obama to sign it into law.
With PTI Inputs