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US bill seeks to designate Pakistan 'state sponsor of terrorism'

11 Mar, 2022
US Congressperson Scott Perry tabled the bill titled ‘‘Stopping Pakistani Terror Act’’ in the House of Representatives on March 8, 2022. nationalgeographic.org
US Congressperson Scott Perry tabled the bill titled ‘‘Stopping Pakistani Terror Act’’ in the House of Representatives on March 8, 2022. nationalgeographic.org

A US lawmaker has presented a bill in the Congress seeking to designate Pakistan as a "state sponsor of terrorism" and imposing restrictions on the country, including a ban on defence exports and sales and financial transactions.

Republican Congressperson Scott Perry tabled the bill titled ‘‘Stopping Pakistani Terror Act’’ in the House of Representatives on March 8, 2022 and it was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

“Effective on the date that is 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan shall be deemed to be a country the government of which the [US] Secretary of State determines has repeatedly provided support for international terrorism..,” read the bill presented by the Republican member of the Congress.

As per the clauses included in the bill, the US government will be prohibited to export or “otherwise provide (by sale, lease or loan, grant, or other means), directly or indirectly, any munitions item” to a country, which in this case is Pakistan, subjected to the sanctions mentioned in the bill.

“[US] shall suspend delivery to such country of any such item pursuant to any such transaction which has not been completed at the time the Secretary of State makes the determination..”

The bill has been tabled in the Congress at a time when Pakistan is facing pressure from the West and the US to openly condemn Russia's invasion in Ukraine. However, Islamabad has insisteed that the armed conflict between the two countries must be resolved with dialogue and diplomacy.

Also, Prime Minister Imran Khan was severely criticized for his visit to Russia late last month during which Moscow started the launched invasion on Kyiv.

Last year, the US passed a bill related to the evacuation of American citizens and others who were stuck in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US forces and swift takeover of Kabul by Taliban.

As per the contents of the act titled Afghanistan Counterterrorism, Oversight, and Accountability Act, the US sanctioned the Taliban and others in Afghanistan for terrorism, drug-trafficking, and human rights abuses.

It also gave an impression of sanctions extending to Islamabad as it had authorized "sanctions on those providing support to the Taliban, including foreign governments supporting the Taliban" and a "call for a comprehensive review of foreign assistance to entities that support the Taliban".