Monday, May 21, 2012

Pak to pay terror price

$50 M aid cut for each us life lost 

A far-reaching piece of legislation has been introduced in the US Congress that would deduct $ 50 million from American aid to Islamabad for every US citizen killed by terrorists operating from safe havens in Pakistan with the “support” of Pakistan's spy agency ISI.

Pakistan has for decades leveraged radical terrorist groups to carry out attacks in India and Afghanistan,” Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said while introducing the 'Pakistan Terrorism Accountability Act of 2012'. The legislation would require the department of defence to list all Americans killed by terrorist groups operating with impunity inside Pakistan and Afghanistan and supported by elements of Pakistani government.

For each person killed, $ 50 million would be subtracted from US foreign assistance to Pakistan ~ a requested $ 2.2 billion ~ and given to the victim's family. “For too long America has funded the Pakistani government, giving it free money, while elements of the ISI and Pakistan's military operate radical Islamic groups that are actively murdering Americans. Americans will not accept this,” Mr Rohrabacher, chairman of the House foreign affairs oversight and investigations subcommittee, said.

Pakistan helped to create the Taliban and Pakistan's intelligence service hid Osama bin Laden from the USA for years. Today, one of the most dangerous and sophisticated groups killing American troops in Afghanistan is the Haqqani Network, which is closely operated by the Pakistani government,” Mr Rohrabacher said. The legislation says Pakistan, through the ISI, maintains control and influence in Afghanistan through militant groups like Haqqani network, to secure its strategic position and expand its sphere of influence, not only in Afghanistan, but also in Kashmir and against India.  

Asserting that the ISI has strong links with the Haqqani network, the legislation said that it shall be the policy of the USA to limit American foreign assistance to Islamabad if Pakistan's military or intelligence services continue to support or provide assistance to organisations that target American citizens.
“Of the amounts made available for assistance to Pakistan for fiscal year 2013 or any subsequent fiscal year, the President shall withhold $ 50 million for each US citizen who is killed as a result of actions of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) or support provided by the ISI to other organisations or individuals, including the Haqqani Network,” it said.

The former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, had previously said the ISI directed the Haqqani network to plan and conduct “the assault on our embassy (in Kabul in September 2011) ... We also have credible evidence that they were behind the 28 June attack against the Inter-Continental Hotel in Kabul”. 

Separately, a bipartisan group of powerful US lawmakers has asked secretary of state Hillary Clinton to “immediately designate” the Pakistan-based dreaded Haqqani network as a foreign terrorist organisation. 
The lawmakers who have written to Mrs Clinton in this regard include Senate intelligence committee chairman Dianne Feinstein, vice chairman Saxby Chambliss, House intelligence committee chairman Mike Rogers and ranking member Dutch Ruppersberger. The letter said it was clear that the Haqqani network continues to launch sensational and indiscriminate attacks against US interests in Afghanistan, and poses a continuing threat “to innocent men, women, and children in the region”. 

“Last week, our travel to Afghanistan for meetings with President (Hamid) Karzai, Ambassador (Ryan) Crocker, General (John) Allen, and many military, intelligence, and State Department officers serving in Afghanistan reaffirmed concerns substantiated by intelligence and our oversight work,” the lawmakers wrote. The letter said there is little question that the Haqqani network meets the criteria for designation as a foreign terrorist organisation ~ it engages in terrorist activity that threatens the security of US citizens or the national security of the USA.  On 1 November, 2011, they said, the state department wrote that it was engaged in the “final formal review” on whether to designate the group as an FTO. “Six months have passed, and the Haqqanis have continued to attack US troops and the US embassy in Kabul during that period.” 


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