WASHINGTON – The US Congress on Thursday approved $1 billion military assistance for Pakistan as part of the Defence Authorisation Bill for the next fiscal year.
Of the $1 billion, $300 million is subject to certification by the Secretary of State that Pakistan is taking action in North Waziristan, according to Congressional sources.
Significantly, the final version of the provision for Pakistan assistance does not include any reference to the previously proposed House condition that $33 million be held on account of the sentencing of Dr Shakil Afridi, who reportedly helped CIA in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. The approval came in a conference call between members of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
A Pakistani military delegation, led by Chief of Staff Gen Raheel Sharif recently concluded a visit to the United States during which a series of meetings were held with American military and civilian leaders.