A US Republican lawmaker has called for sanctions against Pakistan for being a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ in a bill titled ‘Stopping Pakistani Terror Act’ which was tabled in the US House of Representatives – the latest move aimed at accusing Pakistan of involvement in terrorism.
Tabled by Republican Congressman Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, the bill aims to designate Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism. The main sanctions would include restrictions on US foreign assistance, defence exports and sales, and financial transactions between the two countries. The bill has been referred to the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Earlier in Washington, Scott Perry and two other Republican lawmakers, Representative Mary Miller of Illinois and Greg Steube of Florida, had claimed in a letter to US Attorney General Merrick Garland that the ingoing Pakistan Ambassador to the US Masood Khan had links to terrorist and Islamist groups and was a ‘bona fide terrorist sympathiser’. In the letter, the lawmakers alleged that Khan had various ties to armed groups in Kashmir.
Despite the attempt to block Ambassador Khan’s posting, the Biden administration confirmed his appointment in February.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Moscow last month has seemingly led to Pakistan’s frosty treatment on the international stage, some analysts have claimed. The prime minister maintained that Pakistan would remain neutral amid the ongoing Russian invasion in Ukraine. In a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) vote to condemn Russia’s attack, Pakistan abstained, despite public efforts from European diplomats attempt to persuade Pakistan to support the UN resolution.