US Congress rejects halt on defense aid to Pakistan

US Pakistan

WASHINGTON: An attempt in the US Congress to block defense assistance to Pakistan has been thwarted with a significant majority of American lawmakers highlighting the importance of their bilateral relationship with Islamabad.

Last month, Tennessee Republican Andy Ogles introduced an amendment to the US Appropriations bill aimed at halting US defense aid to Pakistan in response to concerns about the government’s crackdown on political dissent.

This proposal was recently put to a vote, and it was decisively defeated. A total of 298 lawmakers voted against the amendment, while 132 voted in favor.

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During the debate, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Congresswoman Barbara Lee argued in favor of maintaining assistance to Pakistan. Sheila Jackson Lee described the move as “misguided” and pointed out that the arguments made by the proponents of the amendment did not accurately represent the government and people of Pakistan.

She emphasised the multifaceted and diverse relationship that has developed over the years between the United States and Pakistan, driven by cooperation in areas including defense, counterterrorism, trade, investment, and education. She also highlighted the sacrifices made by Pakistani soldiers in the fight against terrorism during the intense phases of the Afghan war, saying that cooperation between the two nations is rooted in shared democratic values.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee stressed that US assistance to Pakistan plays a crucial role in maintaining stability in the region, combating extremism, and promoting peace and security.

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