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

Jun 23, 2017 16:37 IST

A bipartisan bill has been introduced in the US House of Representatives by two lawmakers that seeks to revoke Pakistan's status as a major non-NATO ally (MNNA) to the US with the reason that it has failed to effectively fight terrorism. 

The bill has been introduced by Republican Congressman Ted Poe and Democratic lawmaker Rick Nolan. The legislation calls for revoking the MNNA status of Pakistan that was granted to it in 2004 by the then US President George Bush, in an effort to get the country to cooperate with the US to fight terror outfits -Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. 

Speaking on the same, Ted Poe, who is a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and serves as chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-proliferation and Trade said that Pakistan must be held accountable for the American blood on its hands.

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He further added that for years Pakistan has acted as a Benedict Arnold ally of the United States, from harbouring Osama bin laden to backing the Taliban, the country has stubbornly refused to go after, in any meaningful way, terrorists that actively seek to harm opposing ideologies.

"We must make a clean break with Pakistan, at the very least, we should stop providing them the eligibility to obtain our own sophisticated weaponry in an expedited process granting them a privileged status reserved for our closest allies," he said. 

Lawmaker Nolan also spoke on the development by saying that the legislation will protect American taxpayer dollars and make the United States and the world a much safer place.

What does Benedict Arnold ally mean?

The parable refers to treason and betrayal in the US.

It has got its name after an American General, Benedict Arnold who originally fought for the American Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War but later defected to the British Army. 

Major non-NATO ally

• The designation is given by the United States government to close allies who have strategic working relationships with U.S. Armed Forces but are not members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). 

• While the MNNA status does not automatically include a mutual defense pact with the United States, it does confer a variety of military and financial advantages that otherwise are not obtainable by non-NATO countries.

• Under MNNA, a country is eligible for priority delivery of defence materials, an expedited arms sale process and a US loan guarantee programme, which backs up loans issued by private banks to finance arms exports. 

• It can also stockpile US military hardware, participate in defence research and development programmes and buy sophisticated weaponry. 

• The countries that currently enjoy the status include Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Thailand, and Tunisia.

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