US committee chairman for economic restrictions on Pakistan unless Nato routes reopen - 05-07-2012, 04:47 PM
By Huma Imtiaz
Published: May 8, 2012
US House Armed Services Committee says says Pakistan must commit to timely processing of visas for US counter terrorism officials. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE
WASHINGTON: The US House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Buck McKeon has called for a bar on preferential import of goods or services from Pakistan until they re-open the NATO supply routes.
In a release of his draft bill of the National Defense Authorisation Act for fiscal year 2013, the US Republican Congressman also called for a bar on support or reimbursement provided to Pakistan until the Secretary of Defense provides a report on “the model for reimbursement, including how claims are proposed and adjudicated; new conditions or caveats that the Government of Pakistan places on the use of its supply routes; and the new cost associated with transit through supply routes in Pakistan.”
The new draft bill has also asked the Secretary of Defense to certify that Pakistan’s government is committed to taking action and supporting counterterrorism operations against al Qaeda, associated networks, Haqqani Network, domestic and foreign terrorist organisations, dismantling the IED networks and preventing proliferation of nuclear materials. The certification also has to cite whether Pakistan is committed to issuing visas “in a timely manner for United States visitors engaged in counterterrorism efforts and assistance programs in Pakistan.”
The draft bill of the National Defense Authorisation Act is stipulated for fiscal year 2013, while extending the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Funds, also requires the Secretary of Defense, with the Secretary of State’s agreement, to submit updates on what their strategy is to utilise the fund, and what metrics are used to determine progress in the PCF.
The draft bill also has a provision that would “limit the authority of the Secretary of Defense to obligate or expend funds made available to the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Fund during fiscal year 2013 to not more than 10 per cent of the amount available until such time as the update is submitted to the appropriate congressional committees.”
The draft bill will be debated on Wednesday, May 9, which, according to a press release, “extends the prohibition on the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the United States.”
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