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$800 million set aside for Pakistan: US Senate

16 June, 2016

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WASHINGTON: The US Senate voted decisively on Tuesday to approve a defense policy bill that authorizes $602 billion in military spending, of which $800 million have been set aside for Pakistan, but with strings attached to it.

Of the promised aid, $300 million will be given to Pakistan if it launches an operation against the Haqqani Network.

The provision pertaining to Pakistan is called ‘Pakistan Security Enhancement Authorization.’ The Senate Armed Services Committee has used the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) model to restructure security support for Pakistan on the basis that it believes CSF mechanism may soon be ending as it was linked with a specific US mission in Afghanistan which has formally ended.

The new authorization is founded on the need to support Pakistan for its own security needs instead of a broader basis for supporting a coalition.

This is not a new provision as similar provisions existed in the Annual Defence Authorization Act since fiscal year 2015.

The bill authorizes military spending for the fiscal year that begins on Oct 1. The proposal for Pakistan was passed as originally initiated. None of the over 400 amendments considered by the Senate targeted this outlay for Pakistan. The House of Representatives last month passed its version of bill. The Senate’s version of the Authorization Act now must be reconciled with the one passed by the House last month. A conference Committee of both houses of the Congress will now be constituted to reconcile the two drafts and develop a consensus draft.

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