In the US Congress “NO” mention of blasphamy law and human rights: Congressmen preparing a resolution
The resumption of Nato supply has been discussed and also the funds to be released for Pakistan but no mention has been made about stopping the misuse of the blasphamy law in Pakistan. A certain number of the US Congressmen is preparing to present a resolution against the abuse of the blasphamy law in Pakistan.
Following are the details published by Dunya News on the US supply resumption and the amendment # 112485 in the bill, proposed by the Chairman of House Oversights Committee, Dana Rohrabacher, regarding “a complete ban on availability of funds of all kinds for assistance to Pakistan”.
(Dunya News) The US Congress went to vote on the House Resolution 4310, known as the National Defense Authorization Bill 2013, Thursday and passed the amendments relating to additional limitations on Pakistan s security assistance with overwhelming majority. These were approved last week by the Armed services Committee of the Congress.
In the approved bill, the US Secretary of Defense has been asked to submit a report in the Congress about any new mechanism adopted by Pakistan for use of NATO supply routes and the difference in cost incurred from last year. The coalition support fund would not be released before such a report is furnished following the reopening of supply routes, as and when it happens.
The US Secretary Defense is also required to certify that Pakistan is supporting US counter-terrorism efforts against al-Qaeda and haqqani network, as well as other domestic and foreign terrorist organizations (which have not been named in the draft). The bill also wants timely issuance of visas from Pakistan for the US officials involved in counterterrorism and assistance programnmes in Pakistan.
Action against IEDs, a long-standing demand of the US administration and lawmakers, besides prevention of proliferation of nuclear-related material is also required from Pakistan in the bill. Not more than 10 percent of the funds allocated to Pakistan could be disbursed before the submission of report by Secretary Defense.
Other than supply routes, action against IEDs and Haqqani network, other conditions were in the bill during previous years as well for provision of coalition support fund (CSF) to Pakistan, which was first instituted in 2003. The said bill related to domestic military and defense-related expenditure as well as security assistance by the US to foreign countries including Pakistan.
However, it was not all gloom for Pakistan during the House proceedings on the day, because another amendment # 112485 in the same bill, proposed by the Chairman of House Oversights Committee, Dana Rohrabacher, regarding “a complete ban on availability of funds of all kinds for assistance to Pakistan” was rejected by the members.
In a recorded vote, only 84 members voted in favour of the Rohrabacher amendment while 335 voted against it. It may be noted that Ambassador Sherry Rehman had remained engaged in some intense lobbying with Congress members to defeat the amendment proposed by Dana Rohrabacher during last the few days.
The bill will now be tabled in Senate for voting. It requires presidential signatures after approval of Senate to become a piece of legislation. However, the White House has already raised objections to the bill including the clauses against Pakistan and has also indicated to veto it, in case it reached that stage.
– Contributed by Awais Saleem, Dunya News correspondent in Washington, DC