US Lawmakers Are Concerned Over Alleged Patronage Of Terrorist Groups By Pakistan

July 16th, 2017 | by Sukumar Roy
US Lawmakers Are Concerned Over Alleged Patronage Of Terrorist Groups By Pakistan
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THE House of Representatives akin to India’s Lok Sabha has Okayed three legislative amendments making it conditional for Pakistan to show satisfactory progress in curbing terrorism for reimbursement of defence funding by the United States. The conditions have been imposed after several US officials, experts and lawmakers have expressed concern over the diverting of funds received from Washington to promote terrorists and terror outfits.All the three legislative amendments to the USD 651 billion National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) 2018 were adopted by a voice vote by the lower house of the Congress on Friday.NDAA-2018, which authorises the annual defence expenses for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2017, was adopted by the House 344-81. The House of Representatives has six non-voting members in addition to its 435 voting members.

The bill, as passed by the House requires the Secretary of Defence to certify, prior to making any reimbursement to Pakistan, that Islamabad is maintaining security along the Ground Lines of Communication through Pakistan, taking demonstrable steps to support counterterrorism operations, disrupting cross border attacks, and countering the threat of improvised explosive devices.Lawmakers have reportedly taken serious note of the allegation that Pakistan is using Haqqani network and the Taliban against landlocked Afghanistan, India’s one of the few strongest regional allies. The cordial age-old relationship and co-operation between the two nations has become an eyesore for the rulers in Islamabad, says Seth Jones, Director, International Security and Defence Policy Centre, during a Congressional hearing last week.”Pakistan has resorted to proxy organisations to further its foreign policy goals both in places like Jammu and Kashmir against the Indians and in Afghanistan and that means support to organisations like the Haqqani Network and the Taliban, so it’s a proxy war,” Jones said in response to a question asked by Congressman Ted Poe.”The Pakistan government is continuing with its policy, their strategy of strategic depth, that it views everything through the lens of fighting India,” Bill Roggio, Editor of Long War journal, said during the hearing organised by the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism &  Non-proliferation.

“That unfortunately some of these jihadist groups that have spawned from the Pakistani efforts to fight India to establish strategic depth in Afghanistan, it’s come back to bite them with groups like the movement in Taliban and Pakistan, and other groups which have attacked the Pakistani state,” Roggio said.”Unfortunately, Pakistan seems unwilling to recognise this that it still while it fights the movement in Taliban and Pakistan, it continues what other groups like Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) and a host of other groups because they are willing to serve as Pakistan’s strategic depth,” he said.”Until the Pakistani government and leaders and military intelligence, until they come to grips with this, this problem is going to exist for decades,” Roggio said. Poe, who chaired the Congressional hearing on Afghanistan and Pakistan, said that in recent years the US has given over USD 33 billion in some form of aid to Pakistan.”Pakistan directly or indirectly supports the Haqqani Network, in theory. That network as we mentioned earlier, has killed more Americans in the region than any other terrorist group. To me that is something that we should not accept. We should not accept sending money to a country that supports a terrorist group that kills Americans. I think there is a real problem with that,” Poe said.

Poe alleged that Taliban is still based in Pakistan and it came as no surprise that when a US drone strike killed the leader of the Taliban in May 2016, he was in South-western Pakistan.”The laundry list of evidence of Pakistan’s support for terrorist goes on and on. We remember that when Al Qaida leader and America’s most wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden was killed, he was found in Pakistan,” he said.”I believe Pakistan is playing us, they launch what they called counterterrorism operations in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, but quickly became clear they were only targeting the Pakistani Taliban and not the Afghan Taliban, “he added.

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