With speculations that the US is planning to extend its drone strike programmes to Pakistan has made it clear that President Donald Trump is considering avenues to crackdown on funded terrorism emanating from the region.
Just days ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington, two senior US Congressmen have introduced a bipartisan bill that is intended to cut ties with Pakistan.
Texas Republican Republican Ted Poe along with Nolan introduced HR 3000- bipartisan legislation revoking Pakistan’s major non-NATO ally (MNNA) status.
Justifying their decision Poe said, “For years, Pakistan has acted as a Benedict Arnold ally of the United States,” adding that “From harboring Osama bin Laden to backing the Taliban, Pakistan has stubbornly refused to go after terrorists seeking to inflict harm.”
“We must make a clean break with Pakistan, but at the very least stop providing them with privileged status reserved for our closest allies,” Poe stated.
“Time and time again, Pakistan has taken advantage of America’s goodwill and demonstrated that they are no friend and ally of the United States,” Nolan said.
In 2004, the then-President George W. Bush had granted Pakistan MNNA status in an effort to get Pakistan to help the United States fight Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. MNNA status is significant as it provides enormous benefits to the country in the areas of foreign aid and defence cooperation.
Poe, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee has argued that Pakistan over the ensuing years “has in fact been no ally of the U.S.”
Congressman Ted Poe represents Texas’ Second District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and serves as chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-proliferation and Trade.
An MNNA country is eligible for priority delivery of defense material, an expedited arms sale process, and a U.S. loan guarantee program, which backs up loans issued by private banks to finance arms exports.
“The fact is, the billions of dollars we have sent to Pakistan over the last 15 years has done nothing to effectively fight terrorism and make us safer. It is time to wake up to the fact that Pakistan has ties to the same terrorist organizations which they claim to be fighting. I am happy to join my colleague Congressman Poe in introducing this important legislation which will protect American taxpayer dollars and make us and the world safer,” Nolan said.
Richard Michael Nolan is an American politician and member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party who has been the U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 8th congressional district since 2013.
Pakistan with MNNA status can also stockpile U.S. military hardware, participate in defence research and development programs, and be sold more sophisticated weaponry.