A proposal for a new fund to pay Pakistan for its assistance in the war on terror has received approval from the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee.
Senator John McCain, committee chairman, introduced the funding bid as part of the Senate’s 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which was passed on May 18. If Pakistan can meet all of the bill’s conditions, the new fund will grant the nation $800 million in compensation.
This new fund replaces the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) from 2013, and solely focuses on Pakistan. The CSF paid Pakistan for its support of the U.S. and Coalition forces in Afghanistan. To date, Pakistan has received $3.1 billion, but the old fund will expire at the end of the fiscal year on September 30.
The reimbursement fund will still require Pakistan to maintain communication lines to Afghanistan, and if Pakistan does not act against the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Haqqani network, the U.S. will withhold $300 million.
Committee members noted that removing Afghanistan operations from the fund’s objectives was timely because U.S. involvement in Afghanistan had decreased. Most U.S. troops in Afghanistan have been withdrawn, and the coalition forces will soon do the same, lawmakers said.
The House of Representatives passed a bill last week that also aims to reimburse Pakistan. However, it does not replace the CSF and offers $900 million with $450 million tied to acting against the Haqqani network.
The new bill marks a shift to a focus on Pakistan’s national security, which has become a major interest for America’s own national security. The committee said continuing to use the CSF would hinder any U.S. support of Pakistan’s anti-terrorism efforts.