Dem. Senator urges US to rethink on anti-terror monetary aid to Pak

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Washington, May 28 : A Democrat Senator who is also the chairman of a Senate Committee has urged the US administration to rethink on continuing extending monetary aid to Pakistan in a multimillion-dollar program aimed at training and equipping its paramilitary force unless the country "does more" to keep terrorists from crossing the Afghan border.

The Senator's statement assumes significance in the backdrop of last month a report by the Government Accountability Office, which found that despite the money, terrorists were still operating freely along the Afghan border.

Returning from his three-day visit to Pakistan, he said that US officials had little confidence that segments of the Pakistan government, particularly its Army, were working actively to stop the flow of Taliban fighters and weapons into Afghanistan. In some cases, these groups might even be providing support to terrorists, he said.

"If that's our intelligence assessment, then there's a real question as to whether or not we should be putting money into strengthening the Frontier Corps on the Pakistan side," The News quoted Senator Carl Levin as saying.

Levin is among a growing chorus of Democrats questioning the more than 10 billion dollars in US military and economic aid given to Pakistan to fight terrorism since the 9/11 attacks.

Levin said he was interested in restricting 70 million dollars designated for the Frontier Corps, a paramilitary force operating in the western tribal region of Pakistan.

He further said the US should conduct anti-terrorism strikes inside Pakistan without its government's permission, at least for now.

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama had caused a stir last August when he said the US should act on intelligence about top terrorist targets in Pakistan even if President Pervez Musharraf refused. His comments prompted Pakistani officials to warn against US incursions into their country.

ANI

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