Obama warns Congress against Pakistan curbs

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The Obama administration has warned Congress that some of its restrictions on Pakistan could jeopardise the US-led campaign against terrorism in Afghanistan. A policy statement issued by the Executive Office of the US President on Friday warned the lawmakers that limitations on reimbursement to the government of Pakistan were having a negative impact on bilateral relations with the key ally. “The administration strongly objects to the certification requirements in Section 1216,” says the statement. Some of “these certification requirements … require the Secretary of Defence to certify Pakistani cooperation on issues outside of his purview”. Section 1216 of the recently passed National Defence Authorisation Act for US fiscal year 2013 prohibits reimbursements to Pakistan during the period in which NATO supply lines to Afghanistan were closed. The requirements are “proposed at a particularly sensitive time and would severely constrict DOD’s ability to respond to emergent war-time coalition support requirements, putting at risk the success of our campaign in Afghanistan,” the statement adds.