In a development which will further isolate Pakistan, a bill has been tabled in the US House of Representatives which seeks to terminate Pakistan as a major non-NATO ally. During the 117th Congress, Republican Congressman Andy Biggs introduced the bill in the US House of Representatives which seeks to remove Pakistan’s designation as a major non-NATO ally which will strip Pakistan of various perks like access to excess US defense supplies and participation in cooperative defense research and development projects.
The bill also states that unless a Presidential certification is issued that Pakistan continues to conduct military operations that are contributing to significantly disrupting the safe haven and freedom of movement of the Haqqani Network present in the country, the US President cannot issue a separate designation of the country as a Major NATO ally.
This is a significant development in the current context of things especially with the advent of Biden administration a certain section in Pakistan believed that it will go soft on Pakistan unlike Trump. However, this bill if passed, will tie the US President’s hands on Pakistan, regardless of who is at the White House as no sitting US President would certify that Pakistan is acting against the Haqqani network which is flourishing in the country.
It is pertinent to note that the Bush Administration in 2004 named Pakistan as a Major non-NATO ally. Currently, the US has 17 Major non-NATO allies with Brazil being the latest entrant into this group in 2019. Whereas, the USA under the Obama administration had designated India as a Major Defense Partner.
The designation is crucial for a cash strapped country like Pakistan as it would allow the country to enter into cooperative research and development projects with the Department of Defense (DoD) on a shared-cost basis.
The designation would also allow Pakistan participation in certain counter-terrorism initiatives, purchase of depleted uranium anti-tank rounds and priority delivery of military surplus – ranging from rations to ships.
Importantly for the forever cash hungry Pakistan, the designation would not only allow hem access to War Reserve Stocks of DoD-owned equipment but also grant them loans of equipment and material for cooperative research and development projects. It would also allow Pakistan to use American financing for purchase or lease of certain defence equipment – which we all know will be used to fuel terrorists in order to enable them to wreck havoc in India.
Without the designation, Pakistan will have no option but to purchase defence equipment from China which is not only outdated but also extremely faulty with China making a name for itself by sending flawed defence equipment to smaller and poorer nations and then asking for additional payment to repair the same.