The era of the blank cheque is over, Obama to Pak

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Washington, Mar.27 (ANI): The new policy of Afghanistan and Pakistan may well see a surge in US troops in the region to facilitate the 'war on terror', but President Barack Obama has also clarified that Pakistan would be made accountable for all the financial aid it receives from now on.

"The era of the blank cheque is over," Obama told Congressional leaders at a meeting here.

It would be very difficult for Pakistan to set a bench mark as for years now, the United States never asked for any explanations and simply paid bills submitted by the Pakistani government for counterterrorism operations, even when its military was not involved in any confrontation with the militants.

According to The New York Times, the Obama Administration, in its new strategy, has decided to send in 4,000 more troops to train Afghan security forces in addition to 17,000 combat troops, but the idea of sending additional combat troops on hold for now.

The policy may also see US asking both Afghanistan and Pakistan to work together to thwart the insurgents.

Democrat Senator from Michigan, Carl Levin, who was present in the meeting said: "There is a determination to set some benchmarks for Pakistan and Afghanistan, and that will be incredibly important."

Meanwhile, Obama reportedly called both Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai to discuss the important elements of the strategic review. (ANI)

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