Mains Paper 2: India and its neighborhood relations
The following things are important from UPSC perspective:
Prelims: Not much
Mains level: This article talks about the new bill related National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2018 which gives impetus to Indo-US strategic ties and also adopts tough stand against Pakistan, when it comes to the fight against terrorism.
- The US Senate has overwhelmingly approved the nearly $700 billion defence spending bill for 2018 which seeks to develop a strategy for Indo-US defence cooperation and adopts a tough approach on Pakistan’s action against terror outfits like the Haqqani network and the LeT.
- As part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2018, the legislation also approved several India-centric amendments aimed at increasing the defence relationship between the two countries and thus enhancing the strategic paertnership between the two countries. India centric amendments are-
- An amendment that calls on the Department of Defense to reassess its approach to partnering with India and to appoint an individual to oversee this process.
- Another amendment which asks the Pentagon to develop a strategy of defence cooperation between the US and India.
Provisions relating to Pakistan
- The bill approves $700 million in coalition support fund to Pakistan as a reimbursement to the services rendered by Islamabad towards America’s fight against terrorism.
- However, $350 million of this amount cannot be released unless the Defense Secretary certifies to the Congress that Pakistan has taken satisfactory steps against terrorist organizations like the Haqqani network and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)
- Pakistan is required not provide military, financial or logistical support to specially designated global terrorists operating in Afghanistan or Pakistan.
- Along with this Pakistan must show that is not using its military or any funds or equipment provided by the US to persecute minority groups seeking political or religious freedom, including the Balochi, Sindhi and Hazara ethnic groups and minority religious groups, including Christian, Hindu and Ahmadiyya Muslims, it said.