US House stops $700 mn aid to Pakistan

Washington : US House of Representatives has passed a massive $662 billion defence bill that freezes $700 million for Pakistan until the defence secretary provides Congress a report on what Islamabad is doing to counter the threat of improvised explosive devices.

Passed yesterday with a 283-136 vote with bipartisan support in a bitterly divided Congress, the measure is expected to be approved by the Senate Ttoday before it is sent to President Barack Obama for his signature.

In a statement, press secretary Jay Carney said the new bill “does not challenge the president’s ability to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists and protect the American people.”

Specifically, the bill would require that the military take custody of a suspect deemed to be a member of Al Qaeda or its affiliates and who is involved in plotting or committing attacks on the United States. There is an exemption for US citizens.

The bill also says the president can waive the provision based on national security.

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