Kerry Lugar aid being delayed due to lack of coordination between US, Pak officials

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Islamabad, Jan.15 (ANI): The disbursement of the much awaited funds under the Kerry Lugar bill is being delayed due to the lack of coordination between the US and Pakistani authorities.

The delay in releasing the funds through the aid that would triple the civilian assistance to Islamabad to about 1.5 billion dollars for the next five years, would add to the troubles of the government, Pakistani officials said.

"Basic issues like procedures for finalisation and execution of projects are still under discussion. The delay ... is preventing the launch of many social sector projects," an official, who is privy to the issue, said.

While US ambassador to Pakistan, Anne W. Patterson has said that the misunderstandings on both sides about how the funds were to be released would be sorted out and Pakistan would receive about 800 million dollars by March, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin clarified that Islamabad would receive only 500 million dollars, that too in June.

"Robin Raphael, David Lipton and Richard Holbrooke have different approaches about allocation of funds," The Dawn quoted the officials, as saying.

While Holbrooke supports the idea of executing all projects through NGO's in Pakistan, Raphael, who is expected to oversee the non-military US support to Pakistan, supports granting funds for projects through the Pakistan government. (ANI)

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