Washington, Dec 15: The US Congress is all set to put certain conditions on providing financial assistance to Pakistan, but without slashing any of the funding. The conditions will be meant to ensure that Pakistan plays its assigned and promised role in the US-led war against terrorism. The November 3 emergency has loomed large on the Capitol Hill, but since it is going to be lifted in the next 24 hours, it is not going to be the stumbling block it would have been otherwise.
The return of democracy and free and fair elections will also figure among the conditions imposed. Congress is expected to ask the Bush Administration to formally certify that Pakistan is doing its bit and that US assistance is being used for the purpose for which it is being extended. All this will be finalised before Congress goes into its Christmas recess next week.
In practical terms, the congressional move will not make any difference to Pakistan. As long as relations between the two countries remain stable, the Bush Administration will continue to supply the certification required of it, as in the past.
However, if the relationship takes a nosedive or the US no longer feels it needs Pakistan to the extent that it does today, the guillotine will come down, as has happened more than once in the past, the Daily Times reported.