US aid to Pak: Top Senators introduce amendments

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Washington, Nov 17: Angry over Pakistan's lackluster cooperation in the war on terror, top US Senators have introduced amendments that would make it tough for government here to give military and civilian aid to Islamabad unless it takes concrete steps against militant groups like Haqqani network and LeT.

The amendments were introduced yesterday by several top Senators, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Under the Reid Amendment (SA 957) to the HR 2354, the Secretary of State needs to certify that Pakistan is cooperating with the US in efforts against Haqqani network, the Quetta Shura Taliban, Lashkar e-Tayyiba, al-Qaeda and other domestic and foreign terrorist groups, including taking steps to end support for such groups and prevent them from operating in Pakistan and carrying out cross-border attacks into neighboring countries.

However, the Secretary of State could waive this condition in the national security interest of the US.

The Reid Amendment also requires the Secretary of State to certify that the Government of Pakistan is not impeding the issuance of visas for US visitors engaged in counter-terrorism efforts and assistance programmes in Pakistan; and is providing humanitarian bodies access to detainees, internally displaced persons, and other Pakistani civilians affected by the conflict.

The Reid Amendment also notes that US funds appropriated by this Act under the headings "Foreign Military Financing Programme" and "Pakistan Counter-insurgency Capability Fund" for fiscal year ending September 30, 2012, that are available for assistance for Pakistan, may be made available only to support counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations in Pakistan.

PTI

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