US House of Representatives passes anti-Pakistan measure, ignoring White House objection

US House of Representatives

WASHINGTON: Ignoring objections of the White House , the Republican-majority House of Representatives has approved the National Defense Authorisation Act which blocks $450-million aid to Pakistan for failing to take action against the dreaded Haqqani network.

The NDAA 2017 was passed by the US House of Representative (277-147) on Wednesday night, which, among others, included approval of three major amendments reflecting the strong anti-Pak sentiment prevailing among the US lawmaker

As a result, as per the House version of the Bill, the Obama administration must certify that Pakistan has met conditions before releasing $450 million in aid. “Pakistan has shown progress in arresting and prosecuting Haqqani network senior leaders and mid-level operatives.” Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s amendment adds an additional requirement that the secretary of defence certify to Congress that Pakistan is not using its military or any funds or equipment provided by the US to persecute minority groups seeking political or religious freedom.

The NDAA 2017 also includes the sense of the Congress that Shakil Afridi is an international hero and that the Government of Pakistan should release him immediately from prison. NDAA 2017 now needs to be passed by the Senate before it can be sent to the White House for President Barack Obama to sign it into law. Early this week, the White House had expressed strong objections to several provisions of the Bill, including the one related to $450 million in aid to Pakistan

Courtesy: The Economic Times

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