US House defies veto threat by passing bill on Pakistan aid | Pakistan Today

US House defies veto threat by passing bill on Pakistan aid

Defying the White House veto threat, the Republican-majority US House of Representatives has passed the $643 billion defense authorisation bill for 2013 that among other things calls for certain conditions for American aid to Pakistan.
The White House, in a statement this week, had said such conditions and certification regarding aid to Pakistan would be counter-productive. The National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) 2013, passed by the House, 299 votes to 120, now heads for a showdown with the Democrat-majority Senate.
The NDAA imposes conditions on Pakistan for receiving economic and military aid from the US based on Islamabad’s action against terrorists and IEDs. It also prohibits the preferential procurement of goods or services from Pakistan till Islamabad reopens the crucial NATO supply routes to Afghanistan, which were closed after of the death of 24 Pakistani soldiers on November 26 last year in a NATO cross-border fire.
House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Tom Price said the bill reflected a conscious effort to maintain strong alliances with friends like Israel, and it ensures “we do not underestimate” the threats emanating from nations like Iran and North Korea.
The bill also notes that the Taliban, Haqqanis and associated insurgents continue to enjoy safe havens in Pakistan, but are unlikely to be capable of overthrowing the Afghan government unless the US withdraws forces precipitously from Afghanistan.
Opposing many provisions of the defence bill, including conditions imposed on US aid to Pakistan, the White House had threatened to veto it if it impedes the ability of the government to execute the new American defence strategy.



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