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US lawmakers want Pak's ally status revoked over failure to curb terror

US granted Pak major non-NATO ally status in 2004 in an effort to fight al-Qaeda and the Taliban

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

US flag (left) and Pakistan flag. Photo: Shutterstock
US flag (left) and Pakistan flag. Photo: Shutterstock

A bipartisan bill seeking to revoke Pakistan's status as a major non-ally (MNNA) to the US has been introduced in the House of Representatives by two top lawmakers, saying the country failed to effectively fight

Introduced by Republican Congressman Ted Poe and Democratic lawmaker Rick Nolan, the legislation calls for revoking of Pakistan, which was granted to it in 2004 by the then president, George Bush, in an effort to get the country to help the US fight and the

"must be held accountable for the American blood on its hands," said Poe, who is a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and overseas chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-proliferation and Trade.

"For years, has acted as a Benedict Arnold ally of the United States. From harbouring Osama bin Laden to backing the Taliban, has stubbornly refused to go after, in any meaningful way, terrorists that actively seek to harm opposing ideologies," he said.

"We must make a clean break with Pakistan, but at the very least, we should stop providing them the eligibility to obtain our own sophisticated weaponry in an expedited process granting them a privileged status reserved for our closest allies," Poe said.

Under MNNA, a country is eligible for priority delivery of defence materials, an expedited arms sale process and a US loan guarantee programme, which backs up loans issued by private banks to finance arms exports.

It can also stockpile US military hardware, participate in defence research and development programmes and be sold more sophisticated weaponry.

Last August, the then Secretary of Defence, Ash Carter, withheld $300 million in military reimbursements because he could not certify that Pakistan was taking adequate action against the Haqqani network, as required by the NDAA.

"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.

"The fact is, the billions of dollars we have sent to Pakistan over the last 15 years has done nothing to effectively fight and make us safer. It is time to wake up to the fact that Pakistan has ties to the same terrorist organisations which they claim to be fighting," he said.

The legislation will protect American taxpayer dollars and make the US and the world safer, Nolan said.

First Published: Fri, June 23 2017. 14:23 IST