In a major setback to Pakistan, the United States Congress has formulated new norms which will make it difficult for Islamabad to get funding in the name fighting terror. As per the new norms, US Secretary of Defense will have to certify that Pakistan is not providing military, financial, or logistical aid to any individuals designated by the US as terrorist operating in Pakistan or Afghanistan. Till now, the current barring on military reimbursement to Pakistan was limited to only one terrorist group – the Haqqani Network, ANI reported. The bill is undoubtedly a serious blow to Pakistan which uses funding in the name of counter terror operations from the United States – here are 10 things to know about the new US norms:
– Now, before granting any kind of funding to Pakistan, the US Secretary of Defense, will certify that Pakistan is not providing military, financial, or logistical aid to any individuals designated by the U.S. as terrorist operating in Pakistan or Afghanistan.
– The landmark amendments were proposed by Republican Congressman Ted Poe, who is a Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation & Trade. Poe tweeted: “Today, Congress took a step forward to end Pakistan’s betrayal of the US with the addition of an additional certification requirement.”
– The new norms have been enacted in the form of a law in US. The US Congress passed National Defence Authorization Act for 2017, making it difficult for Pakistan to get new grants.
– The enactment of the bill came amid a number of harsh statements, giving a major setback to Nawaz Sharif led Pakistan Government. In a big attack, Ted Poe termed Pakistan as a Benedict Arnold ally who supports multiple terrorist organisations, including groups that target Americans working to stabilise Afghanistan. For those who don’t know, Benedict Arnold was an American general who defected to the British army in 18th century.
– Along with the new norms, Poe also sought to revoke Pakistan’s status as a major non-Nato ally (MNNA), which was granted in 2004 by then US President George W Bush.
– Poe, along with Democrat Congressman Rick Nolan in January introduced the bipartisan bill seeking to revoke Pakistan’s status as a major non-Nato ally (MNNA), had earlier argued that since Pakistan has failed to effectively fight terrorism, it no longer deserves US economic and military assistance.
– Pakistan’s aid to terrorist organisations was earlier exposed by Rahmatullah Nabil, former chief of Afghan Spy Agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS). Nabil had disclosed classified documents, which revealed that the money provided by the United States Government to the Pakistan military for fighting terrorism is being spent by the country’s intelligence agency, ISI, for promoting and supporting terrorism.
– The National Defence Authorization Act for 2017 also brought a good news for India as the US Congress directed the Department of Defence and State Department to take specified actions to boost its defense and security ties with India.
– In another blow, US asked Pakistan to release Shakil Afridi, a Pakistani physician who helped the CIA run a fake hepatitis vaccine program in Abbottabad, Pakistan, to confirm Osama bin Laden’s presence in the city, ostensibly exposing Islamabad’s hypocrisy and double standards. The US Congress said, “Dr. Shakil Afridi is an international hero and that the government of Pakistan should release him immediately from prison”.