US senators wary of further financial aid to Pakistan

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
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Washington, May 5: The death of Osama bin Laden is most probably going to spell doom for Pakistan as it is at a risk of being denied any financial aid from the US. The senators in the US are debating if the aid should continue after the terror lynchpin was found almost near the Pakistani capital city.

In April 2011, the US had given away $2 billion as military aid to Pakistan. And that apart the Congress' civilian financial aid to Pakistan could also amount to almost $1 billion. Over the last decade or so, Pakistan is estimated to have received $20 billion in aid from the US.

US has continuously asked Pakistan to dismantle terror camps running in its territories and also expressed concerns about the ties between Pakistani military and the Afghan Taliban. Pakistan, it is reported was furious over the conditions.

Now with, Osama bin Laden being found and eventually killed, right under the nose of the Pakistan military and near its capital Islamabad, US lawmakers are mulling whether to proceed with the aid.

Howard Berman, a senator who played a crucial role in the 2009 aid bill that assured a regular sum of money to Pakistan, was quoted by Reueters as saying, "The notion of a close and strong relationship with Pakistan in part is premised on their cooperation in our confrontation with terrorist groups. The record so far is very weak."

He added, "(Pakistani military) is not serving the interests that we intended that military aid to serve...Even before the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden, I was getting more and more skeptical about what we are getting for our taxpayer money."

According to the conditions in the 2009 law, no security financial aid was to be provided to Pakistan in 2011-2014 unless the US secretary of states had ascertained that Pakistan had "demonstrated a sustained commitment to and is making significant efforts towards combating terrorist groups."

It also harped on the progress that Pakistan made on "preventing al-Qaeda, the Taliban and associated terrorist groups .... from operating in the territory of Pakistan."

The Obama administration made the necessary findings so that the 2011 aid could be approved, with its justifications classified, Berman was reported as saying by Reuters.

With a number of US senators disapproving any further financial aid to Pakistan and the civil opinion in the country also supporting that, it seems that Pakistan might be lurching in economic gloom soon.

OneIndia News

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