A group of high-profile US senators – including a former presidential nominee – has moved a bill in the US Senate titled Afghanistan Counterterrorism, Oversight, and Accountability Act, seeking imposition of sanctions on the Afghan Taliban that could also potentially extend to Pakistan as a supporter of the Taliban.
The 22 lawmakers, all from the Republican Party, introduced the bill on Monday that requires “the imposition of sanctions with respect to the Taliban and persons assisting the Taliban in Afghanistan, and for other purposes.”
The proposed legislation also seeks to review and suspend assistance to and potentially impose sanctions on any foreign government the US believes was or is supporting the Taliban. It singles out Pakistan by name in the section that calls for a report on “entities providing support for the Taliban”.
The bill sets out provisions for establishing a state department task force, counterterrorism strategy for Afghanistan, review of foreign assistance to countries supporting the Taliban, and imposition of sanctions on the Islamist fundamentalists and their supporters.
If the bill gets support from both Houses and is signed into law, the US president will have the power to impose sanctions on individuals who provide military, training, or logistical support to the Taliban or provide safe haven to their fighters.
Under the legislation, the US secretary of state will have the power to suspend all forms of foreign assistance to the countries or organizations found providing any form of material support to the Taliban, except some activities to support humanitarian projects, democracy-building in Afghanistan, education among others.
Pakistan has long been accused of providing assistance to the Afghan Taliban in their attempt to topple the democratically elected government in Afghanistan, a charge Islamabad denies. Pakistan spy chief was in Kabul before the announcement of the interim Taliban government, which many experts suggested that Islamabad was trying to sideline Mullah Baradar and help the Haqqani Network get the major share of the power pie in Afghanistan.
Courtesy: The Express Tribute and Hindustan Times