State Department seeking 3.2 billion dollars for Pakistan for 2011 : Clinton

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Washington, Feb.25 (ANI): US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said her department is seeking 3.2 billion dollar as aid for Pakistan during the next fiscal beginning October 1.

Addressing the Senate appropriations committee, Clinton said the money would be utilised to "combat extremism, promote economic development, strengthen democratic institutions, and build a long-term relationship with the Pakistani people".

This includes funding through the Kerry-Lugar-Berman bill, through which the United States has pledged to give 1.5 billion dollars as non-military aid a year for the next five years.

The State Department's financial requests for 2011 and USAID together accounts 52.8 billion dollars, which is 4.9 billion more than the 2010 budget.

Highlighting the importance of the huge monetary aids, Clinton said with that money Washington aims to strengthen ties with countries across the globe and help countries meet challenges.

"With that money we will address global challenges and strengthen partnerships," The Dawn quoted Clinton, as saying.

"The defence budget for Iraq will be decreasing by about 16 billion dollar, and that's a powerful illustration of the return on civilian investment," she added. (ANI)

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