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Tuesday, October 6, 2009


SALIENT FEATURES OF THE KERRY-LUGAR BILL 1. Authorization • The Bill authorizes $1.5 billion per year primarily for economic assistance to Pakistan for five years and could be extended to subsequent five years i.e. 2015-2019. 2. Acknowledgements • The Bill acknowledges Pakistan as a critical friend and ally. • It supports Pakistan’s struggle against extremist elements and recognizes the profound sacrifices it has made in the war on terror. • It recognizes Pakistan as a major non-NATO ally and a valuable partner in the battle against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. • It calls upon the Administration to actively build mutual trust and confidence and consistently pursue a sustained, long-term, and multifaceted relationship with Pakistan, devoted to strengthening the mutual security, stability and prosperity of both countries. 3. Uses of Assistance The Bill authorizes the President to provide assistance to Pakistan: i) to support expansion of rule of law and capacity building of government institutions; ii) to promote sustainable economic development; iii) to support the building of democratic institutions; iv) to support investment in people, including those displaced in ongoing counterinsurgency operations; and v) to strengthen public diplomacy. 4. Utilizing Pakistani organizations Instead of awarding contracts to American companies and hiring American consultants, the Bill encourages the Administration to utilize aid though public and private sector. 5. Authorization of Security Assistance • To support Pakistan’s paramount national security needs to fight the ongoing counterinsurgency and improve its border security and control etc., the bill authorizes funds for the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and International Military Education Training (IMET) for 5 years. • It authorizes the Secretary of State to establish an exchange programme between military and civilian personnel of Pakistan and NATO member countries. 6. Terms of Security Assistance • No security assistance and offer to sell major defense equipment to Pakistan may be provided, until the Secretary of State certifies that: i) Pakistan continues to cooperate with the United States to dismantle supplier network relating to the acquisition of nuclear weapons related material, such as providing relevant information from or direct access to Pakistani nationals associated with such networks. ii) Pakistan is making significant efforts to prevent Al-Qaeda and associated terrorist groups, including Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad from using its territory to launch attacks against United States or coalition forces in Afghanistan or cross border attacks into neighbouring countries; iii) The security forces of Pakistan are not materially or substantially subverting the political or judicial processes of Pakistan. (All these conditions are in line with our declared national policy on these issues; we are against nuclear proliferation; we have commitment not to allow our territory to be used for terrorism and we want to remain on path to democracy.) 7. Waiver • The Bill, however, allows a waiver against these restrictions if the Secretary of State, under the direction of the President, determines that it is important for the US national security interests. • Neither PCCF nor CSF come under the purview of Kerry-Lugar Bill and are, therefore, not subject to conditions imposed on the security assistance. • Besides, none of the above mentioned conditions can set in motion automatic sanctions. 8. Requirement for Civilian Control • Any direct security related assistance by the United States may only be provided or made to civilian authorities of a civilian government of Pakistan. ********** IMPROVEMENTS OVER THE EARLIER VERSIONS • The language of the Bill is far less prescriptive and stringent than the original version. Specific references to India as well as AQ Khan have been eliminated. • The language related to nuclear proliferation markedly toned down from ensuring direct access of US investigators to individuals associated with proliferation networks to receiving cooperation “in efforts to dismantle supplier networks relating to the acquisition of nuclear weapons related materials, such as providing relevant information from or direct access to Pakistani nationals associated with such networks”. • There is a waiver for almost every condition. Besides, the Bill requires a waiver from the “Secretary of State and not from the President” as was proposed is the House version. • The Bill authorizes funds for Foreign Military Funding (FMF), Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund (PCCF) and International Military Education and Training (IMET). However, unlike the House version, it does not specify any amount or percentage for these funds. This provides the Administration with maximum flexibility. • The previous Senate version required a semiannual report from the Secretary of Defense on the use of Coalition Support Fund. This requirement has been dropped under the new bill. • From the $1.5 billion approved for FY-2010, the Bill authorizes up to $150 million for police reforms, equipment and training. These funds were not available under the earlier versions. ********** Moderators Note: The Bill is being criticized because of the conditions imposed. These conditions are a direct consequence of past events---the proliferation episode, the possible involvement of Lashkar e Tayaba and Jaish e Muhammad in the Mumbai terror attacks and the fact that these were planned and executed from Pakistan with a Pakistani among the attackers, the history of military intervention and the subversion of the political and judicial system during the last military intervention. Though not explicitly stated it must be assumed and confirmed that these conditions are for future lapses and not past ones. This is important. According to US law suspension of aid and sanctions are mandatory if there is a military take-over in the country receiving US support.

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