US Senate ties all Pakistan aid to terror crackdown

Piling up pressure on Pakistan, the US Senate Appropriations Committee passed a bill that makes all US financial assistance to the Government of Pakistan privy to conditions of cooperation against the Hqqani network and other terror groups associated with al Qaeda.

According to a statement issued by the committee, the Senate passed the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations bill for the fiscal year 2012 by a 28-2 vote in favour.

The bill makes available $161.4 million for State Department operations in Pakistan, but “does not specify amounts for assistance for Pakistan.”

The press release stated that “the bill includes strengthened restrictions on assistance for Pakistan by conditioning all funds to  Pakistan on cooperation against the Haqqani network, al Qaeda, and other terrorist organisations, with a waiver, and funding based on achieving benchmarks.”

The conditions on aid imposed by the Senate Appropriations Committee comes after months of pressure on Pakistan to act against terrorist organisations, especially in wake of the Abbottabad raid in May this year that led to the death of al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.