US House Passes Bill on Defence Co-operation With India, Imposes Tougher Condition on Pakistan to Get Funds in Name of Terror Fightin
Washington, July 15: The US House of Representatives passed a bill on defence cooperation between the United States and India and made it difficult for Nawaz Sharif-led Pakistan to get US defence funding in the name of terror fighting. “The United States is the world’s oldest democracy and India is the world’s largest democracy. It is vitally important to develop a strategy that advances defence cooperation between our two nations,” Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera said.The $621.5 billion defence policy bill has been moved by Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera. The defence policy was adopted by a voice vote by the US House as part of the National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA) 2018, which is beginning on October 1 this year.
“I am grateful for this amendment passed and look forward to the Defence Department’s strategy that addresses critical issues like common security challenges, the role of partners and allies, and areas for collaboration in science and technology,” he said. “Cooperation between the US and India enhances our own defence and our ability to meet the evolving security challenges of the 21st century,” Bera added.
Taking a harder line on Pakistan, Donald Trump-led US House of Representatives has voted for three legislative amendments to impose tougher conditions making it difficult for Islamabad to get funding from the country to fight terrorism in Pakistan. The US House has made it conditional to Islamabad showing satisfactory progress in the fight against terrorism. However, the current limitations on military reimbursement funding to Pakistan only apply to one terrorist group: the Haqqani Network.
The amendments were proposed by Republican Congressman Ted Poe.
In a series of tweets, terming Pakistan as a Benedict Arnold (American general who defected to the British army in 18th century) ally who supports multiple terrorist organizations, Poe writes, “NDAA included 2 of my amendments: (1) Strengthening Border Security (2) Added certification requirement for Pak reimb. Making excess military equip. available to fed, state, & law enforcement agencies along southern border will provide much-needed support. Pakistan is a Benedict Arnold ally who supports multiple terrorist organizations, inc. groups that Americans working to stabilize Afghanistan.”
As for the defence cooperation between the two countries, the Secretary of Defence and Secretary of State have 180 days to develop a strategy. After the Senate passes it, United States President Donald Trump will have to sign the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA)-2018 to make it a law.
NDAA-2018 demands a strategy that addresses common security challanges, role of America and its allies in India-US defence co-operation, to be developed by the State Department and the Pentagon. The NDAA-2017 had designated India as a major defence partner.