A US lawmaker has introduced legislation in the US House of Representatives that seeks to end Pakistan’s designation as a major non-NATO ally and requires annual presidential confirmation with certain conditions for Islamabad to receive such designation.
The bill (HR 80) was introduced by Congressman Andy Biggs, who represents Arizona’s fifth congressional district. It must be approved by the House and Senate before being signed by the US President and has been sent to the House Foreign Affairs Committee for action. Normally, such bills do not bear fruit, but this bill reflects the sentiments of lawmakers against Pakistan, which is known for harboring terrorism and using it as a matter of state policy.
For any further designation of Pakistan as a major non-NATO ally, the law requires the US president to issue certification that the country has demonstrated progress in arresting and prosecuting senior Haqqani network officials and mid-level operatives and has taken steps to demonstrate its commitment to preventing the Haqqani network from using any Pakistani territory as a safe haven.
Both conditions are seen as very onerous for Pakistan given that many in the US believe the Haqqani network is the real offshoot of the ISI. The bill also seeks confirmation from the US president that Pakistan is actively coordinating with Afghanistan to curb the movement of militants such as the Haqqani network along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
written by: Vaishali verma
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