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Bill in US Congress seeks to terminate Pakistan's status as major non-NATO ally

Bill in US Congress seeks to terminate Pakistan's status as major non-NATO ally

A bill introduced in the US House of Representatives seeks to terminate Pakistan’s status as a major non-NATO ally, which currently provides the South Asian country with privileges like access to defence supplies and participation in cooperative development and defence research projects. The bill, which has been introduced by Republican Congressman Andy Biggs, puts the spotlight on Pakistan's continued support to terrorism in the Indian subcontinent. Indian news agency, <em>PTI</em> reports that Biggs' bill says the US president will not use the designation - 'Major NATO ally', for Pakistan till there is a presidential certification that Pakistan continues to conduct military operations that are contributing to significantly disrupting the safe haven and freedom of movement of the Haqqani Network in Pakistan. Talking about Afghanistan, the bill wants the US government to prove that Pakistan has taken steps to demonstrate its commitment to prevent the Haqqani Network from using any Pakistani territory as a safe haven and also that Pakistan actively coordinates with Afghanistan to restrict the movement of militants, such as the Haqqani Network, along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The introduction of the bill is evidence that many in the US are not entirely convinced about Pakistan curbing support to terror organisations operating in its western neighbour Afghanistan where it has continued to support and shelter militant organisations like the Taliban and the Haqqani Network. The bill wants to know from the American government whether the Imran Khan government as an ally in the war against terror, and also as a major non-NATO ally, has actually implemented plans to restrict the movement of militants across the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, where US forces have been fighting terrorists of various shades for nearly two decades. The Republican Congressman's bill comes at a time when the US has been pushing hard for peace in Afghanistan by making various groups of Afghans talk with each other to bring about rapprochement in the war-torn country. Violence in Afghanistan, on the contrary, has increased since the US signed the peace deal with the Taliban in February 2020. Pakistan, an active player in Afghanistan owing to its hold over numerous militant groups, is suspected to be pushing for an increased role for itself through militant organisations as it waits for US forces to pull out of Afghanistan..