WAShington - Top US Senator John McCain has moved a legislative amendment in the Senate to impose gradual diplomatic, military, and economic costs on Pakistan if it continues to provide support to Taliban and Haqqani network.

The move, as an amendment to the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) 2018, is part of an effort by Senator McCain to establish lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

McCain is chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee and legislative moves by him always get through the Congress.

The Senate amendment 609 to NDAA-2018 says that it is the sense of the US Congress to deny, disrupt, degrade, and destroy the ability of terrorist groups to conduct attacks against the US, its allies, and its core interests. The amendment also allows it to prevent Taliban from using military force to overthrow the Afghan government and reduce the Taliban's control of the Afghan population.

As part of this objective, McCain calls for strengthening the Afghan security forces, authorisation of US forces to target terrorists of the Haqqani network and the Taliban and others.

The legislative amendment calls for "imposing graduated diplomatic, military, and economic costs on Pakistan as long as it continues to provide support and sanctuary to terrorist groups, including the Taliban and the Haqqani network.

"It calls for simultaneously outlining the potential benefits of a long-term United States-Pakistan strategic partnership that could result from the cessation by Pakistan of support for all terrorist and insurgent groups and constructive role in bringing about a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Afghanistan."

Moved on the Senate floor on Thursday, the amendment also calls for intensifying America's regional diplomatic efforts working through flexible frameworks for regional dialogue together with Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, India, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and other nations to promote political reconciliation in Afghanistan.