US Senate Bill Supports Pakistan

Washington, DC: A bill moved in the US Senate towards the implementation of the recommendations of the report of the 9/11 Commission recommends to the president to provide $3 billion in assistance to Pakistan for the next five years.
The bill containing what is termed “sense of Congress” says “the government of the United States should provide assistance to Pakistan’s failing basic education system and to emphasize development and the government of the United States should strongly urge the government of Pakistan to close Taliban-linked schools known as madrassas, close terrorist training camps and prevent Taliban forces from operating across the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan”.
The bill asks the secretary of state to report not later than 90 days after the bill becomes law to “submit to the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate a report on efforts by the government of Pakistan to take the actions described” above.
The bill contains no conditionality, as does its House of Representatives counterpart proposed by Frank Pallone, a congressman with an established record of being critical of Pakistan and highly supportive of India. He is also a member of the India Caucus. However, the two versions will be eventually reconciled between the two chambers and a compromise worked out.
The Bush administration has expressed unstinting support for Pakistan and will lobby hard to eliminate or water down any provisions that tie up the president’s hands or force Pakistan to take actions that it considers unnecessary or uncalled for.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
2004 . All Rights Reserved.