No rift between govt, Army over Kerry Lugar Bill : Kaira

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Islamabad, Oct.8 (ANI): Pakistan Information and Broadcasting Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira has rejected reports regarding a rift between the government and the Army over the Kerry Lugar Bill issue.

Responding to queries about altercations between the government and the Pakistan Army over the 'severe' terms and conditions attached with the US aid bill, Kaira said: "There is no clash between the government and Army."

Kaira said Pakistan was not bound to accept the terms and conditions in the bill, as it has not inked any deal with the US in this regard.

He said the final decision regarding whether to accept the bill or reject it would be taken by Parliament.

Kaira, however, said that negotiations could not be held over the Kerry-Lugar Bill as it was not a bilateral issue between two countries.

Kaira also accused India of lobbying heavily against Pakistan while the bill was being formulated.

He also rejected the notion that the government has not gone through the intricate clauses of the bill document while it was being prepared.

"Nothing in the bill is against the interest of Pakistan," The News quoted Kaira, as saying.

It is worth mentioning here that the Pakistan Army has objected to the terms and conditions attached with the Kerry Lugar Bill.

During a regular meeting of Corps Commanders at General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, military's top brass raised questions over the 'stringed' aid, which would provide Pakistan with 1.5 billion dollars a year over the next five years for democratic, economic and social development programmes.

A statement issued by the Pakistani Army after the meeting stated that the military is concerned about the clauses of the aid bill which may have a serious impact on national security. (ANI)

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