US Senate Introduces Rider on Pak Defence Aid

While approving its defence budget, the US Senate has brought in an amendment intended at ensuring that military aide given to Pakistan is actually used only to fight the Taliban and Al-Qaida.

According to the bipartisan amendments moved by Democrat Robert Menendez and Republican Bob Corker, there will be a certification by the secretaries of state and defence before granting Coalition Support Funds to Pakistan so that the payment is both in national security interests of the US and doesn’t affect the balance of power in the region.

“To this point, almost eight years and more than seven billion in American taxpayer dollars for Pakistan’s military have not prevented the Taliban and al-Qaida from regrouping along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border,” said Menendez.

“The fight against these extremists is crucial for our own security, which is why we have to certify that our support is in fact doing what we intend it to do and is not being used for other purposes.

“This is an issue of national security and of responsibility with taxpayer dollars, and it is important that passed the Senate.”

“We appreciate the important role Pakistan has played in our fight to eliminate the terrorist safe havens within their borders, but we also owe it to our service members and the American taxpayer to ensure that the funds provided to Pakistan out of the Coalition Support Funds are in fact being directed toward those efforts and not misdirected,” said Corker.

The Menendez-Corker amendment came amidst growing apprehension among lawmakers that the military aid given to Pakistan to fight against the Taliban and al-Qaida was being diverted for a build up against India instead of its intended purpose.

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