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U.S. for closer defence ties with India (Relevant for GS Prelims, GS Mains Paper II)

National Defence Authorisation Act of US
The National Defence Authorisation Act 2017 is scheduled to be passed by the U.S Congress seeks executive action to “recognise India’s status as a major defence partner of the United States and strong action by Pakistan on terrorism.

Draft bill details
1. India –US future defence relationship
The draft bill released said technology transfer to India and defence cooperation must be “consistent with United States conventional arms transfer policy.” 
A move supported by a pro-India group to designate India a ‘major non-NATO ally’ in the bill was abandoned earlier this year after it failed to garner enough support among powerful members of the Congress.

The U.S has already recognised India as a “major defence partner” in June, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit, but the implications of it remains undefined.

Views of Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar
India would be treated at a level similar to the closest allies and partners of the U.S. and that it sort of allows for better, higher quality, faster technology access on the defence side and also more liberal access to the dual technology side.

2. Pak must act against Haqqani
The new law will tighten the screws on Pakistan to take more credible action against the Haqqani terror network. The text proposes to tie $400 million of the total $900 million in coalition support funds for Pakistan for 2017 to a certification by Secretary of Defence. In 2016, the amount was $300 million, which was not released after Secretary Ash Carter refused to certify in favour of Pakistan.

The law will require the Defence Secretary to certify, among other things, that, “Pakistan has taken steps to demonstrate its commitment to prevent the Haqqani Network from using any Pakistani territory as a safe haven” and “has shown progress in arresting and prosecuting Haqqani Network senior leaders and mid-level operatives.”



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