A bill to terminate Pakistan as major non-NATO ally has been introduced in US Congress. The bill was presented by Andy Biggs, influential Congressmen from the state of Arizona. A major non-NATO ally gets many military and financial advantages only available to NATO countries. Countries like Israel, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, and Pakistan are given major non-NATO ally status by the American government. Pakistan was named as major non-NATO ally in 2004 by former president George W Bush in 2004. US gave Pakistan the status for helping them in the war against terrorism in Afghanistan.
However, the current administration is of the view that Pakistan failed to prevent terror activities and any help to the country is wastage of financial and military resources. The bill states that for any future redesignation, President must make sure that Pakistani government is making efforts to disrupt the safe haven and freedom of movement of the Haqqani Network in the country. The resolution has been sent to House Foreign Affairs Committee for necessary action. The bill also asks the president to certify that Government of Pakistan and Afghanistan actively coordinate to prevent movement of people from terrorist organizations like Haqqani Network on Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
In September, the Trump administration cancelled USD 300 million in military aid to Islamabad for not doing enough against terror groups active on its soil. The relations between the two countries have soured after Donald Trump assumed power in the US. The US administration has suspended nearly USD 2 billion in security assistance to Pakistan this year. Pakistan has misused the American help by supporting and allowing terrorism to prosper on its soil. “We were giving them $1.3 billion a year — which we don’t give them anymore; by the way, I ended it because they don’t do anything for us, and they don’t do a damn thing for us,” said Donald Trump on assistance cut. In August 2017, Trump had said, “We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting.”
The bill comes at a time when Paki n finds itself entirely isolated and is on the verge of collapse. The country grapples with a financial crisis with the current balance of payments crisis in 13th since independence. US is the largest shareholder in IMF and it opposed bailout package to the Islamic country. The US administration said that the bailout package will be used to pay Chinese loans Pakistan has taken to develop 60 billion dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
There are apprehensions in Pakistan against the growing Chinese influence. World Community seems to be wary of the Chinese ‘debt trap diplomacy’. There has been an uproar in Pak after the new government raised questions over the previous governments’ dealing with China. This recent Pakistani posture has certainly not gone well with China. Imran Khan’s recent visit to China, in order to ask for financial assistance to manage ‘balance of payments’ crisis, turned out to be an unsuccessful one. Chinese haven’t confirmed their help to Pakistan yet. It seems that their ‘all-weather friendship’ is set to go under some new transformation.
The Trump administration has taken very tough measures against Pak. First, it canceled 2 billion dollar security assistance, it is also opposed to IMF bailout to the country and now an influential member’s bill to remove US as major non-NATO ally has been introduced in the Congress. This is new low in US-Pak relations and it will definitely hurt economic condition and international standing of the Islamic country.