PEACE Act: stringent terms on Pak
Even as a key Congress Committee deleted direct reference to India while passing a law on US aid to Pakistan keeping in mind Islamabad's sensitivities, the bill imposes tough conditions on the Pakistani army and spy agencies and considers LeT, JeM and al-Qaeda as part of the same global terrorist network.
The Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement (PEACE) Act, passed on May 20 by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs of which Berman is the Chairman, proposes $ 9.1 billion of civil and military assistance to Pakistan from 2010 to 2013 — almost double of the aid to Islamabad as compared to the previous Bush Administration.
The bill was passed after replacing the word India with "neighbouring countries" with regard to Pakistan not allowing its soil to be used to launch terror attacks. However, given the bitter experience the US has had with Islamabad in the past, it imposes a series of tough conditions on Pakistan that would almost "nullify" what Pakistan Army considers as its strategic options against India namely the terror groups created by it like Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).
In fact, the PEACE Act brings LeT and JeM on a par with the Taliban and al-Qaeda and considers all of them as part of the same global terrorist network. It mentions Muridke, where the JuD's headquarters is situated near Lahore, as a terrorist sanctuary, and strongly expects Pakistani intelligence agencies to break all their relationship with these terrorist networks, which so far had been promoted and supported by them against India.
Given its past experience, where the money given to it was used by Pakistan to build up its army against India, the PEACE Act mandates that at least 75 per cent of the security assistance fund would be used by Islamabad only for counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations. It rules that Pakistan cannot buy F-16s through these funds as has happened during the Bush era.
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