Stopping cross border attacks, crack down on LeT, key riders for US aid to Pak

June 13th, 2009 - 1:17 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Washington, June 13 (ANI): Stopping cross border attacks and cracking down on the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and other major terrorist organizations, are some of the key benchmarks that the US House of Representatives has attached to the annual aid bill for Pakistan worth 1.5 billion dollars.

According to the restrictions included in the ‘Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement Act’ (PEACE), an evaluation of efforts would be undertaken by the Pakistan government to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other extremist and terrorist groups in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and other regions.

The act also asks for a crackdown on all terrorist camps operating inside Pakistan, including those of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

One of the major conditions put forth in the PEACE act is to cease all support for extremist and terrorist groups, and increase oversight over curriculum in madrasas.

It also asks for the closing down of all the madrasas which are directly linked to the Taliban and other militant organizations, The Dawn reports.

The assistance could also stop if the US president fails to certify that Pakistan is cooperating with nuclear non-proliferation efforts.

The annual presidential certification must also say that Pakistan is dismantling nuclear supply networks, and making progress fighting terrorist groups.

The stringed aid clearly suggests that there is still a trust deficit between Pakistan and the United States. It also implies that the US lacks trust in the current democratic set up of Pakistan in financial matters.

However, several Republican Senators have opposed the restrictions saying it is an attempt to ‘micromanage’ US’ military assistance to Pakistan.

“There is too much micromanaging in this bill. This is a war over there and we should be supporting our ally in every way policy so that the Taliban is not victorious,” Republican Senator Dan Burton said.

Burton also objected to the restrictions put on Islamabad to use the US funds to purchase the F-16 fighter aircrafts.

Democratic Senator John Kerry, who is the co-sponsor of the bill, termed the measures as ‘overly restrictive’ and ‘counterproductive.’

Meanwhile, Pakistan ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani has said that Pakistan government is unhappy about the conditions attached to the aid.

Haqqani said he hopes that the Senate would remove the conditions after the passage of the aid package is completed.

However, Chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, Howard Berman, ruled out any such possibility.

“The Congress was simply asking Pakistan to follow through with the commitments. We will no longer provide a blank check,” Berman said. (ANI)

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