Pakistan might be deprived of 90 percent of U.S. funds

Washington, May 11: Pakistan might lose 90 percent of its U.S. funds after a Congressional Committee passed a bill imposing conditions on the country for receiving American economic and military aid. The aid will now be reduced to just 10 per cent of available funds, unless Islamabad reopened NATO supply routes.

The restrictions, included in two bills passed separately by House panels, are the harshest since Pakistan joined the U.S.-led war against terror 11 years ago, reports The Dawn.

A House appropriations panel for foreign aid has denied 800 million dollars to Pakistan from a special fund for training and equipping Pakistan’s military in counter-insurgency tactics.

The bill authorises 554 billion dollars for national defence and 88.5 billion dollars for overseas contingencies operations. It is nearly 4 billion dollars more than President Obama’s budget request.

The Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2013, which determines the defence budget for the fiscal 2013, was approved by the House Armed Services Committee following a marathon debate.

The U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee for State and Foreign Operations has called for a complete ban on economic or security assistance to Pakistan until the secretary of state certifies that Pakistan is cooperating and taking action against terrorist networks.

The bill seeks certification from the Defence Secretary that Pakistan is committed to supporting counterterrorism operations against Al-Qaeda, its associated movements, the Haqqani Network, dismantling improvised explosive device (IED) networks, interdicting precursor chemicals used in the manufacture of IEDs, and preventing proliferation of nuclear-related material and expertise.

The bill also prohibits the preferential procurement of goods or services from Pakistan till Islamabad re-opens the NATO supply routes to Afghanistan, which were closed in the aftermath of the death of 24 Pakistani soldiers on November 26 in a NATO cross border fire. (ANI)