WASHINGTON: A Republican lawmaker has moved a bill in the 117th Congress, seeking to strip Pakistan of its status as a major non-Nato ally of the United States.
The US media, however, pointed out that “the legislation comes at a moment of uncertainty over the incoming Biden administration’s posture towards Pakistan after four years of tumultuous relations in the Trump era.”
“There was no indication the bill will have momentum before the House Foreign Affairs Committee,” noted The Washington Times newspaper while commenting on the move.
The mover, Congressman Andy Biggs, although a prominent Republican from Arizona, is not a member of the committee.
But the relations did show some signs of improvement during the last two years of the outgoing administration when it initiated a peace process with the Afghan Taliban with Pakistan’s help. The process led to a peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban but could not achieve the desired results of a complete troop-withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The incoming Biden administration, although not as keen on a military withdrawal as President Trump has been, also wants to reduce America’s military footprints in Afghanistan. And foreign policy experts in Washington say that the new administration may not want to start its tenure with a major rupture with Pakistan, as it could further complicate peace efforts in Afghanistan.
The bill will need support from President-elect Joe Biden’s Democratic Party to pass as Democrats are a majority in the House of Representatives.
The Washington Times also pointed out that the bill, introduced on Sunday — the first day of the 117th Congress — “drew little US media notice but triggered headlines in India, which … has long been critical of US-Pakistan relations.”