Washington, Following the passage of an annual U.S. defence policy bill blocking funds to Pakistan till reopening of NATO supply routes, Pakistan”s Ambassador in Washington Sherry Rehman has said the amendment would not ease relations between the United States and Pakistan.
Rehman told Congressional leaders that the amendment, introduced by Representative Gerald Connolly, “would not help bring the (Pakistan-US) relationship back on track”, adding that that Pakistan “stood to gain more from peace and stability in Afghanistan, and it is therefore incorrect to blame Pakistan for the difficulties in Afghanistan”, reports the Express Tribune.
House of Representatives lawmakers debating the National Defence Authorisation Act had voted almost unanimously, 412-1, for the amendment that could block up to 650 million dollars in proposed payments to Pakistan unless Islamabad lets coalition forces resume shipment of war supplies across its territory.
Pakistan, for the current fiscal, has budgeted 1.34 billion dollars, or Rs 118.7 billion, on account of Coalition Support Fund (CSF) reimbursement – but the U.S. has not released the amount yet. Outstanding CSF dues amount to 2.5 billion dollars at present.
In the wake of the amendment, CFS will be released if the U.S. defence secretary certifies that “Pakistan has opened the ground lines of communication, is allowing the transit of Nato supplies through Pakistan into Afghanistan, and is supporting the retrograde of US equipment out of Afghanistan.”
Pakistan had closed down the NATO supply routes in reaction to a U.S. air raid on border posts that had killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November, last year.