On the first day of the 117th Congress, Republican Congressman Andy Biggs introduced a bill in the US House of Representatives to terminate the designation of Pakistan as a Major non-NATO Ally.
The bill will strip away Pakistan’s designation as a major non-NATO ally, which allows various benefits such as access to excess US defense supplies and participation in cooperative defense research and development projects.
The bill also notes that the US President cannot issue a separate designation of Pakistan as a Major NATO ally, unless 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.
It also seeks a presidential certification that Pakistan has taken steps to demonstrate its commitment to prevent the Haqqani Network from using any Pakistani territory as a safe haven and that the Pakistan government actively coordinates with Afghanistan to restrict the movement of militants along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
The bill also asks the president to certify that Pakistan has shown progress in arresting and prosecuting Haqqani Network senior leaders and mid-level operatives.
Pakistan was named a Major non-NATO ally during the Bush Administration in 2004. Currently, there are 17 Major non-NATO ally.
The designation gives the countries to entry into cooperative research and development projects with the Department of Defense (DoD) on a shared-cost basis, participation in certain counter-terrorism initiatives, purchase of depleted uranium anti-tank rounds, priority delivery of military surplus (ranging from rations to ships).
The designation, among other things, expedites export processing of space technology and permission for the country’s corporations to bid on certain DoD contracts for the repair and maintenance of military equipment outside the United States.
However, US President Donald Trump in January 2018 suspended all financial and security assistance to Pakistan. The outgoing Trump Administration even considered terminating the designation of Pakistan as a Major non-NATO ally.