Despite strain US proposes USD 3.1 billion for Pakistan

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Lalit K Jha

Washington, Feb 15 (PTI) Despite a stand off withPakistan over the issue of jailing of its diplomat RaymondDavis, US has not proposed any slashing of aid to Islamabad,and for the second year in running has allocated a whoppingUSD 3.1 billion as assistance to the country for 2012.

President Barack Obama has kept up the aid levels toPakistan and of the huge allocation a staggering USD 1.1billion is to provide critical equipment and training forPakistani security forces, increasing the ability of thePakistani government to combat insurgents inside that countryand eliminating the insurgent''s capacity to conductcross-border operations in Afghanistan that jeopardise USlives and the mission there.

In 2010, Pakistan had received USD 79 million underthe Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) Budget, which isestimated to jump to USD 1.3 billion in 2011.

Obama has requested USD 73.6 billion for the StateDepartment in its USD 3.73 trillion budget for the next fiscalyear and of this a significant portion has been allocated forprogrammes in Pakistan, Afghanistan as well as Iraq, where USis likely to face problems as withdrawal of American troopscontinues.

In a significant development, the American budgetretains major assistant programmes for US allies in the MiddleEast including USD 1.5 billion for Egypt. But US officialswarn that money for the country which include USD 1.3 billionmilitary aid could be altered depending on developments.

The stepped up military assistance to Pakistan willcome under the Overseas Contingency Operations Budget. (More)PTI (More) LKJ SMJ AKD

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