Ahead of Imran's swearing-in, US House passes defence act capping aid to Pakistan

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, USAUpdated: Aug 02, 2018, 10:59 AM IST

File photo Pak PM Imran Khan and US President Donald Trump. Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

The US Senate passed the conference report on NDAA-19 by 87 to 10 votes on Wednesday afternoon

As PTI chief Imran Khan gets set to take over as prime minister of Pakistan, the US today passed the National Defense Authorisation Act-2019 (NDAA-19) capping aid to Pakistan at $150 million.

The security-related cap is much below the $1 billion to $750 million per year aid which the US administration extended to Pakistan earlier.

The US Senate passed the conference report on NDAA-19 by 87 to 10 votes on Wednesday afternoon, the  House of Representatives had already passed the act last week. It will now move to President Trump for approval.

In January, the US State Department had curtailed security assistance to Pakistan. At the time, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert had said the suspension would remain in effect until Pakistan takes decisive action against the Taliban and the Haqqani Network.

"No partnership can survive a country's harbouring of militants and terrorists who target US service members and officials," the State Department spokesman had said.

The Trump government had earlier frozen $2 billion in security aid to Pakistan over terrorists allegedly operating from its soil. In a New Year tweet, Trump had attacked Pakistan for providing "safe haven" to terrorists and warned the government for engaging in "deceit and lies" in its relationship with the US.

In a tweet later, President Trump had backed US Senator Rand Paul's move to stop all aid to Pakistan over its failure to clamp down on terror groups operating on its soil. Trump had acknowledged Rands tweet saying: "Good idea Rand!"

In order to keep the squeeze on Pakistan, on Wednesday, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo had said the IMF should not extend credit to Pakistan to bail it out while expressing the hope to work with the new government in Pakistan.