In a recently passed bill, the US Congress has significantly slashed the security aid to Pakistan to $150 million per year.
The aids usually have been around $1 billion to $750 million per year till now. The bill, however, has removed the condition to undertake counter-terrorism action against groups like Haqqani network and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), according to news agency PTI.
The Senate passed the National Defense Authorisation Act-2019 (NDAA-19) by 87 to 10 votes on Wednesday. The House of Representatives had passed the conference report last week. The $716 billion bill now moves to the White House for President Donald Trump to sign it into law.
“The Pentagon no longer has any tools to put pressure on Pakistan to undertake counter-terrorism activities or action against the Haqqani Network,” Anish Goel, who till recently was a senior staffer in the Senate Armed Services Committee, told PTI. This move is likely to make it easier for Pakistan to receive the funds.
The bill has also made it easier for countries like India to conduct business with Russia with a modified waiver to section 231 of Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) under which sanctions are levelled on countries that purchase significant military equipment from Russia.
Unlike the existing version of the act, the proposed modified waiver requires presidential certifications designed to protect US alliances, military operations and sensitive technology.
The bill also has provisions that bar China from participating in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), the world’s largest international maritime warfare drill and prevent its companies from accessing certain telecom equipment for defence and security establishments.
This provision will ensure that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is better equipped to handle “emerging threats” from China.
News credit : Indiatoday