WASHINGTON: The US House of Representatives rejected two amendments seeking cut in Coalition Support Fund (CFS) for Pakistan in the proposed Defense Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2017 on Thursday.
The US House of Representatives had in May approved $ 900 million CSF outlay for Pakistan as part of the annual Defense Authorization Bill.
The CSF is compensation for expenses incurred by Pakistan in the War on Terror.
Pakistan’s Ambassador Jalail Abbas Jilani had met several lawmakers in recent weeks to project country’s efforts in the fight against terrorism. The country has suffered losses of nearly $200 billion due to extremism.
During debate on the bill, Congressman Ted Poe of Texas and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a Hindu American from Hawaii moved an amendment to cut CSF for Pakistan from $ 900 million to $ 700 million.
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s amendment called for cutting all Coalition Support Fund for Pakistan, saying that detention of Dr. Shakil Afridi was evidence that Pakistan was not a sincere partner of the United States. Congressman Poe called for cutting CSF by $ 200 accusing Pakistan of supporting the Taliban.
The House rejected both amendments by voice vote and resorted to a recorded vote once both US lawmakers insisted for it. When put to vote, the amendment moved by Congressman Poe and Congresswoman Gabbard was defeated by 230 to 191. Congressman Rohrabacher’s amendment was defeated by 336-84.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Co-Chair of Pakistan Congressional Caucus, highlighted Pakistan’s own actions in counter-terrorism. She said, “ Over the years, I have worked with a number of persons in the Pakistani Government.
She emphasized that the Pakistan military, over a period of years, has fought against terrorism and suffered a great treasure in the loss of their soldiers. “I believe it is important that we continue to collaborate and, as my two colleagues have said, that we work extensively with oversight.”
The US Senate has also moved a proposal for $800 million fund for enhancing Pakistan’s counter terrorism capacity. There was no amendment in the US senate against the proposal.