Washington: A number of provisions of a key defence bill, including conditions imposed on US aid to Pakistan, the Obama administration have threatened to veto it if it impedes the ability of the government to execute the new American defence strategy.
 In a statement issued by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on Tuesday, the administration said any conditions imposed on Pakistan for receiving US aid would be counter-productive at this sensitive time and strongly opposed the conditions put on aid to Pakistan by the powerful House Armed Services Committee in the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) for the fiscal year 2013.
Objecting too many provisions of the NDAA-2013, the administration threatened to veto it if the cumulative effects of the bill impede the ability of the Administration to execute the new defence strategy and to properly direct scarce resources.
 "If the cumulative effects of the bill impede the ability of the administration to execute the new defence strategy and to properly direct scarce resources, the President's senior advisors would recommend to the President that he veto the bill," the detailed eight-page statement warned.
It said the Obama administration strongly objects to the restriction in reimbursement for Pakistan from Coalition Support Funds and the associated certification requirements in section 1211 of the Act.
"Taken together, the reimbursement restriction and the certification restrictions - some of which require the Secretary of Defence to certify Pakistani cooperation on issues outside of his purview - are proposed at a particularly sensitive time and would severely constrict DOD's (Department of Defence) ability to respond to emergent war-time coalition support requirements.
"This can put at risk the success of our campaign in Afghanistan, increasing the risk that al-Qaeda and its associates would be able to again enjoy a safe haven in Pakistan," the statement said.

Last week, the House Armed Services Committee "overwhelmingly" passed the Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) 2013 imposing conditions on Pakistan for receiving economic and military aid from the US based on Islamabad's action against terrorists and IEDs.

Among other things, NDAA 2013 prohibits the preferential procurement of goods or services from Pakistan till Islamabad re-opens the crucial NATO supply routes to Afghanistan, which were closed in the aftermath of the death of 24 Pakistani soldiers on November 26 in a NATO cross-border fire.
The bill notes that the Taliban, Haqqanis and associated insurgents continue to enjoy safe havens in Pakistan, but are unlikely to be capable of overthrowing the Afghan Government unless the United States withdraws forces precipitously from Afghanistan.


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