No certification to Pakistan on curbing of terror
Washington: Ahead of his visit to India, US Secretary of State John Kerry has made it clear that he has not issued any certificate to the Congress on the progress made by Pakistan in taking action against terror groups.
The US State Department has not made any recent notification to the Congress under the Kerry-Lugar Berman for release of American aid to Pakistan, Kerry’s spokesman said.
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, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters yesterday.
However, she quickly added 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 said. In the past, she said, the “national interest waiver” has been used to provide Congressional-mandated aid to Pakistan.
She said 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.
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 news reports that Kerry has issued 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 terror),” 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,” she said. She refuted a recent Pakistan Finance Ministry statement that State Department has notified the Congress a USD 532 million aid package for Pakistan with its break up being given for different sectors like energy, defense against terrorism, economic growth, community building, education and health.
“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 Pakistan’s Finance Ministry. Kerry is scheduled to attend Vibrant Gujarat summit to be held in Gandhinagar from January 11.