No certification to Pakistan on curbing of terror: US

Washington: US Secretary of State John Kerry has not issued any certificate to the Congress on the progress made by Pakistan in taking action against terrorist groups, his spokesperson said today.The US State Department has
no certification to pakistan on curbing of terror...
PTI January 06, 2015 8:17 IST

Washington: US Secretary of State John Kerry has not issued any certificate to the Congress on the progress made by Pakistan in taking action against terrorist groups, his spokesperson said today.

The US State Department has neither made any recent notification to the Congress under the Kerry-Lugar-Berman bill for release of American aid to Pakistan.

It was way back in 2013 that the State Department had notified the Congress about disbursement of aid to Pakistan and for this the Secretary of State had used the "national interest waiver" and not the certification requirement.

In fact, no aid has been disbursed to Pakistan under the Kerry-Luger-Berman in recent past, US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily news conference.

However, she quickly added that there are a number of ways under which the US provides financial aid to Pakistan.

"Congress has not been notified of the request. Congress has not approved of any request (of aid to Pakistan under Kerry Lugar Berman Bill)," Psaki told reporters at her daily news conference.

In the past, the "national interest waiver" has been used to provide Congressional-mandated aid to Pakistan, she said, adding that no certification has been issued with regard to progress made by Pakistan in taking action against terrorist networks.

"A (national interest) waiver was used instead of certification (in 2013)," Psaki said in response to a question.

Not issuing certificate to Congress on Pakistan's counter-terrorism measures, she noted, does not mean that progress has not been made.

She was responding to questions about reports that Kerry has issued a certification to Pakistan on its counter-terrorism measures ahead of his Islamabad visit next week.

"The facts are: Congress has not been notified of a request. Congress has not approved a request. I think in some of the reporting it also suggested this implied an approval of progress made (by Pakistan in war against terrorism)," Psaki said.

"In the past, while I'm not going to get ahead of any requests we'll make, and obviously there will be additional funding, I'm sure. But in the past, the Department of State  has employed the national interest waiver provided for in legislation in part because all the criteria that is required to be met hasn't been met. We obviously have that ability in the future as well," she said.

The last review made under the Kerry-Luger-Berman bill with regard to Pakistani counter-terrorism cooperation was in 2013.

"A waiver was used in lieu of certification," Psaki said. She also refuted a recent Pakistan Finance Ministry statement that State Department has notified the Congress of a USD 532 million assistance package for Pakistan with its break up being given for different sectors like energy, defence against terrorism, economic growth, community building, education and health.

The statement was issued following a meeting US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard G Olson had with the Pakistan Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

"Congress hasn't been notified of a new funding – amount of funding, and they haven't approved funding...There hasn't been a new amount of funding notified to Congress. So, no," she said in response to a question on the statement issued by the Pakistan Finance Ministry.

 
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