Distrustful allies: Another panel, another set of conditions

Published: July 28, 2011
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The House Appropriations Committee unanimously passed a bill to add further restrictions to aid provided by the US to Pakistan. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

The House Appropriations Committee unanimously passed a bill to add further restrictions to aid provided by the US to Pakistan. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

WASHINGTON: 

A second US Congressional panel moved to put restrictions on Washington’s aid to Pakistan on Wednesday, with a subcommittee of the powerful House Appropriations Committee voting unanimously to slash the US foreign aid budget by 17.8%.

On Wednesday afternoon, the State and Foreign Operations subcommittee unanimously approved a bill that attached tougher conditions on aid to Pakistan than the ones attached by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“With respect to countries that have provided challenges to US diplomacy and foreign policy, funds are only made available after these governments have met tough conditions,” said Hal Rogers, a Republican congressman from Kentucky and the chairman of the appropriations committee, the most powerful committee in the United States Congress when it comes to financial matters.

In the category for Economic Support Funds, the bill states that none of the funds can be appropriated for assistance to Pakistan until the Secretary of State reports to the committee that the funds “will only be provided for programs in the United States’ national security interest that decrease extremism through economic development.”

Other sections of the bill state that funds cannot be made available to Pakistan until the Secretary of State “in consultation with the Secretary of Defence and the Director of National Intelligence, certifies
and reports to the Committees on Appropriations in writing” about Pakistan’s co-operation with the US in dismantling nuclear proliferation networks and making demonstrable progress in fighting against terrorist groups, assisting the US in its investigation of whether an “official or unofficial support network in Pakistan for Osama Bin Laden” existed.

The bill also says that Pakistan, including elements from the Pakistan Army and intelligence agency, must cease to support extremist groups, particularly those attacking US and coalition forces in Afghanistan.

The bill also outlines that Pakistan must prevent Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Haqqani Network, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad from operating in Pakistani territory and carrying out cross border attacks in neighbouring countries.

Interestingly, the bill also says that the Secretary of State must testify that, “the security forces of Pakistan are not materially and substantially subverting the political or judicial processes of Pakistan.”

While Republicans and Democrats on the committee disagree on cuts to foreign aid, they seemed united in their approval of attaching more conditions to aid to Islamabad.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2011.


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Reader Comments (10)

  • Sacha Sain
    Jul 28, 2011 - 12:18AM

    As a patriotic Pakistan, I humbly request US to stop giving us any aid. Let us stand on our feet. Please spend that money in US where schools are being closed and teachers being laid off. Please help Pakistan by staying out of its affairs.

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  • Cosmo
    Jul 28, 2011 - 1:22AM

    @Sacha Sain:
    Dude the problems is not that other countries are getting involved in Pakistan’s internal affairs, in fact, it is exactly other way around. It is Pakistan’s state sponsored groups that are creating mayhem around the world, and hence Pakistan is involved. Got it? am sure you did.

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  • Cautious
    Jul 28, 2011 - 1:55AM

    It gets worse when you think that Republican’s have historically been Pakistan’s ally — this means that they intend to make Pakistan part of their election campaign which is bad news for Pakistan. The Republican’s are going to maneuver Obama into a position of defender of Pakistan — then use their influence with the military and intelligence communities to insure a steady leak of embarrassing information discrediting Pakistan. Consider this part of the consequences of being caught hiding OBL.

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  • Secrecy
    Jul 28, 2011 - 2:40AM

    I would make a humble request USA to please stop providing aid to Pakistan. Aid for war-on-terror has cost us already to much; statistics speak of the collateral damage done. As a nationalist, I cannot see more damage to my country.

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  • Pragmatist
    Jul 28, 2011 - 6:22AM

    It is the height of foolishness to pick a fight with the US. The next couple of years will show Pakistan why. Let’s see if the Chinese can walk the talk and step into the vacuum left by the US.

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  • BruteForce
    Jul 28, 2011 - 7:53AM

    @Sacha Sain:

    Buddy, @Cosmo is absolutely right. During the 1990s there was no US aid and Pakistani economy was tanking, a host of Terrorist groups that haunt Pakistan today were born at that time. Although there was no Aid, Pakistani “jihad” in Kashmir was going at full swing.

    What does that tell you?

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  • observer
    Jul 28, 2011 - 10:01AM

    @Cautious:
    lol! Don’t worry. Pakistan is definitely not an election issue in the US. Most Americans don’t even know what Pakistan is or where it is.

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  • raghead cowboy
    Jul 28, 2011 - 10:26AM

    @Cosmo:
    No you got it wrong. It is other way around, it is the US sponsored terrorism backed by new puppet called Hindustan creating Mayhem around this region.

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  • Frank
    Jul 28, 2011 - 6:37PM

    Earlier, I considered Pakistan to be an ally of USA. However, with presence of Osama in its capital Islamabad, proved me wrong. I think all the aid should be stopped now. Pakistan is not a reliable ally.

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  • Sacha Sain
    Jul 28, 2011 - 8:09PM

    @Cautious

    I am talking apples, you are talking oranges. Read the article again.Got it? am sure you did.

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