Clauses in Defence bill neither meant to appease India nor micromanage Pak: US Senator

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Washington, Oct.24 (ANI): US Senator Bob Corker, one of the co-authors of the bill which offers to provide massive military support to Pakistan, has clarified that the provisions in the Defense Bill are neither meant to appease India nor aim to micromanage Pakistan, one of its key allies in the 'war on terror'.

It is worth mentioning here that the US Senate on Friday approved a defence bill for Pakistan with added restrictions that the military assistance being provided to that country should not 'upset the balance of power' in the region.

Some of the experts have interpreted that as a reference to India, however, Corker has rejected the notion.

"Not at all. The provisions in this defense authorization bill have nothing to do with that," Corker, a Republican, said while replying to a question that whether the bill contained restrictions aimed at appeasing the Indian lobby as suggested by some experts.

Corker said the clauses mentioned in the bill were aimed at preventing misuse of the military hardware and ensure that they were being utilized exactly for the purpose they were being provided for.

"This has nothing to do with trying to in any way direct the military efforts of Pakistan. This is something that applies to our U.S. government and our desire for them to make sure that that they are using the funds that we have allocated to them in ways that we prescribe," The Nation quoted Corker, as saying during an interview.

"I assure you that the language in the Defense Authorization Bill that we put in place has nothing to do with any kind of micromanagement or interference in Pakistani affairs," he added.

The new limits mentioned in the bill include efforts to track where the US military hardware sent to Pakistan ends up.

Following the Senate's approval, the bill has been sent to President Barack Obama to be signed into law.

The aid is likely to create more furor in Pakistan, where both the Army and the civilan government are fuming over the 'stern' clauses stitched with the Kerry- Lugar bill, which triples non-military aid to Islamabad to 7.5 billion dollars over the next five years.

The measures, stated in the new defence bill, require the US Secretaries of State and Defence to certify 'whether such reimbursement is consistent with the national security interest of the United States and will not adversely impact the balance of power in the region.'

The bill also says that the Pentagon must certify that Islamabad is involved in a 'concerted' fight against Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and other extremist groups before it can actually receive the massive aid package.

It also directs the Pentagon to keep a check on how Pakistan uses the military hardware being provided to it in order to 'prohibit the re-transfer of such defence articles and defence services without the consent of the United States.' (ANI)

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