US lawmakers seek sanctions against Pakistan

Washington, Mar 11: One US lawmaker has called for designating Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism while two others have sought a probe into Ambassador Masood Khan’s alleged links with Kashmiri and Pakistani groups, Dawn reported on Friday.
Republican Congressman Scott Perry, from Pennsylvania is the initiator of this move.
This bill seeks to provide for the designation of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism, and for other purposes. The bill has now been referred to the US House committee on foreign affairs.
The proposed sanctions include restrictions on foreign assistance; a ban on defence exports and sales; certain controls over export of dual use items; and miscellaneous financial and other restrictions.
Others have called for penalising persons and countries engaging in trade with a state declared a sponsor of terrorism.
So far only four countries have been designated sponsors of terrorism, which include Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Syria.
On March 9, three lawmakers Scott Perry, Gregory Steube and Mary E. Miller sent a letter to US Attorney General Merrick Garland, claiming that Ambassador Masood Khan has had close relationship with domestic actors linked with the Pakistani regime citing it as a matter of critical concern.
Masood Khan, Pakistan’s new ambassador to the US, is a senior diplomat who once served in New York as Islamabad’s permanent representative to the United Nations. He was also Azad Kashmir’s president till August last year.
The three US lawmakers have called for an investigation into allegations that Khan, has links with Muslim groups and organisations in the United States.

Last month, another US lawmaker tried to block Khan’s appointment as Pakistan ambassador to the United States, but the Biden administration rejected his protest and confirmed the appointment.