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US lawmakers introduce legislation to designate Pakistan as a terrorist state

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 21 September 2016, 8:09 IST

Two lawmakers in the United States of America have introduced a legislation in the Congress to designate Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism ahead of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's speech before the UN General Assembly.

The bill, H.R 6069 or the Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act, enjoins the U.S administration to make a formal call on the matter within four months of its passage, reports The Times of India.

The President will have to issue a report within 90 days detailing whether or not Pakistan has provided support for international terrorism.

The bill was moved by lawmakers Ted Poe from Texas, the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, and Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California, a strong votary of the Baloch cause.

''Not only is Pakistan an untrustworthy ally, Islamabad has also aided and abetted enemies of the United States for years. From harboring Osama bin Laden to its cozy relationship with the Haqqani network, there is more than enough evidence to determine whose side Pakistan is on in the War on Terror. And it's not America's,'' Poe said in a statement on 20 September announcing the bill.

Though, the bill is largely symbolic as the current Congress is in its final days. But it is a powerful expression of the mood among lawmakers who are agitated about Pakistan's ceaseless backing of terror groups.

According to the report, this is the first time in many years that there is talk of formally designating Pakistan a terrorist state. Such a measure was last discussed in 1993 after Pakistan engineered the Mumbai serial blasts through Dawood Ibrahim, killing 259 people in a terrorist attack that was a precursor to many such attacks across the world, including in New York, London, and Madrid.

''It is time we stop paying Pakistan for its betrayal and designate it for what it is: a state sponsor of terrorism.'' Congressman Poe was quoted by TOI.

First published: 21 September 2016, 8:09 IST