WASHINGTON: The Obama administration has opposed the Republican-controlled Congress move to block USD 450 million in aid to Pakistan for failing to “demonstrate its commitment” and taking action against the Haqqani network, say¬ing it will “complicate progress” in bilateral ties.
A White House statement in this regard along with other objections of the administration to NDAA-2017 came as the bill made its way to the House of Representatives from House Armed Services Committee. The White House asserted that it shares the view of the lawmakers with regard to the Haqqani network, but such a move would “unnecessarily complicate progress” in bilateral ties. The House is likely to vote on HR 4909 later this week. According to NDAA 2017, of the total amount of reimbursement and sup¬port authorised for Pakistan during the period beginning on October 1, 2016, and ending on De¬cember 31, 2017, USD 450 million would not be eligible for a national security waiver unless the Secretary of Defence certifies that Pakistan con¬tinues to conduct operations against Haqqanis.
“The Administration objects to section 1212 (of HR 4919), which would make USD 450 mil¬lion of CSF (Coalition Support Fund) to Pakistan ineligible for the Secretary of Defenses waiver authority unless the Secretary provides a cer¬tification to the Congressional defense commit¬tees,” the White House said in its statement.
“We share the Committees concerns regard¬ing the threat posed to our forces and interests in Afghanistan by the Haqqani Network, and we continue to engage with Pakistan at the highest levels regarding the need for concerted action spe¬cifically against the group,” the White House said.