White House blames 'vested interests' in Pak for creating chaos over KL Bill

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Islamabad, Oct.14 (ANI): The White House has made it clear that it would not change any clauses in the controversial Kerry Lugar Bill, and has blamed certain Pakistani quarters for misinterpretating the bill for their own 'vested interests.'

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that the objections being raised over the bill in Pakistan were primarily due to some misconceptions that surround the legislation.

"I know a number of countries have conditional aid based on meeting certain important criteria. I think the President believes this is appropriate. I think the opponents of this bill, as one of the sponsors said in the newspaper today, either are misinformed or are characterising this in a different way for their own political purposes," The Nation quoted Gibbs, as saying.

Earlier, interacting with mediapersons after a meeting with Pakistan's Foreign Minister, who had rushed back to Washington to convey Islamabad's objections, Chairman of the Senate Foreign relations Committee John Kerry said a separate document would be attached with the bill to clarify elements in the 7.5 billion dollar bill.

Kerry, the main sponsor of the bill, said the document would be prepared within the next 24 hours.

Sources said President Obama would sign the legislation only after the explanatory note is attached to it.

Kerry said it was important that Islamabad's concerns are addressed, and underlined that the 'true intent' of the bill is to help bolster socio-economic development of the Pakistani people.

"He (Qureshi) expressed to me very clearly and very forcefully the ways in which the (Kerry-Lugar) Act has been misinterpreted or interpreted as the case may be by some in Pakistan and how important it is to our relationship and our ability to proceed forward in the direction that we all want to go, to make certain that we address those concerns," The Nation quoted Kerry, as saying.

He highlighted that the bill has nothing in it, which challenges Pakistan's sovereignty, and stressed that it has nothing to do with drone attacks, or private security companies.

"The bill signifies U.S. long-term commitment to the Pakistani people and seeks no micromanagement of Pakistanis affairs," Kerry added.

Qureshi told reporters that the meeting was very successful, as Washington had taken note of Pakistan's apprehensions.

"We discussed this very frankly. I think the message is loud and clear and has been understood. The two sides will work collectively to clarify and correct interpretations," he said. (ANI)

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