WASHINGTON: United States Congress has passed a bill to slash Pakistan’s defense aid to $150 million amid tensions in bilateral relations.
The bill will hold the status of law after signatures of US President Donald Trump.
As per details garnered, the US Congress on Tuesday approved a $716 billion defense authorization bill to cut Pakistan’s defense aid from $750 million to $150 million.
This military aid is given to Pakistan in order to maintain its border security. However, the reduction in the defense bill is made after the allegation of using US aid in operations against Taliban.
US Senate passed the report on National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)-19 by 87 to 10 votes, last week. The bill then was sent to president Trump seeking his consent.
Last year, US defense bill had authorized a significant aid of $700 million for Pakistan under Coalition Support Fund (CSF) that has been reduced now.
The defense policy bill backs President Donald Trump’s call for a bigger, stronger military and sidestepping a potential battle with the White House over technology from major Chinese firms.
The annual act authorizes US military spending but is used as a vehicle for a broad range of policy matters as it has passed annually for more than 50 years.
Earlier on Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned on Monday that any potential International Monetary Fund bailout for Pakistan’s new government should not provide funds to pay off Chinese lenders.
In an interview with CNBC television, Pompeo said the United States looked forward to engagement with the government of Pakistan’s expected new prime minister, Imran Khan, but said there was “no rationale” for a bailout that pays off Chinese loans to Pakistan.