By: Wajid Ali Syed
WASHINGTON: The United States House Armed Services Committee on Thursday approved a bill that will prohibit the preferential procurement of goods or services from Pakistan until the Nato supply lines are reopened.
The committee fine-tuned the bill, also known as the National Defence Authorisation Act, all day on Wednesday and into the early hours of Thursday, when it was passed with an overwhelming majority by the committee members.
Confirming the passage of bill, a committee spokesman told The News, ìWe did three things, but they generally boil down to one theme ñ we are restricting or cutting funds until the Pakistani supply routes are reopened. When they are, we are pressing for greater accountability. We hope the US-Pakistan relationship will improve, but until that happens, we need to be conscious of our roles as stewards of the taxpayer dollar.î
A section of the bill extended the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Fund (PCF) through the 2013 fiscal year, but the modified sub-sections require the Secretary of Defence, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, to submit an update to the report on the strategy to utilise the fund, and the metrics used to determine progress with respect to the fund. It also limits the authority of the Secretary of Defence to obligate or expend funds made available to the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Fund to not more than 10 percent of the amount available until such time as the update is submitted to the appropriate congressional committees.