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US Makes it Difficult for Pakistan to Get Defence Funding

The US House of Representatives has adopted three legislative amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act, making it difficult for Pakistan to get defence funding.

The aid will now be conditional to Islamabad showing satisfactory progress in the fight against terrorism.

All the three legislative amendments to the $651 billion National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) 2018 were adopted by a voice vote by the lower house of the Congress on Friday, PTI reported.

Two of these amendments were moved by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and one by Ted Poe.

"Today, Congress took a step forward to end Pakistan's betrayal of the US with the addition of an additional certification requirement," said Poe, a Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Chairman of Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation & Trade.

Henceforth, the Secretary of Defense has to certify, prior to making any reimbursement to Pakistan, that Islamabad is taking demonstrable steps to support counterterrorism operations.

It also specifies that of the total amount of reimbursement and support authorised for Pakistan— $400 million — would not be eligible for a national security waiver unless the Secretary of Defense certifies that Pakistan continues to conduct military operations against the Haqqani Network in North Waziristan.

The amount is authorised is for the period beginning October 1 this year and ending on December 31, 2018.

The Defense Secretary also needs to certify that Pakistan is demonstrating commitment to preventing the Haqqani network from using North Waziristan as a safe haven, and is actively coordinating with the Government of Afghanistan to restrict the movement of militants along the Pak-Afghan border.

NDAA, as passed by the House, now requires that the Pentagon assess Pakistan's support for known terrorists before handing over US dollars to Islamabad, Ted Poe said.

"Making excess military equipment available to federal, state, and law enforcement agencies along our southern border will provide much-needed support and reinforcements to the men and women who are our first line of defence," he said.

"It is well known that Pakistan is a Benedict Arnold ally who supports multiple terrorist organisations, including groups that target Americans working to stabilise Afghanistan.

"But current limitations on military reimbursement funding to Pakistan only apply to one terrorist group: the Haqqani Network," Poe said in a statement.

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