US lawmakers call for review of aid to Pakistan

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Washington, Nov 5 (UNI) US lawmakers have favoured the review of aid to Pakistan following the imposition of emergency rule in the South Asian nation.

US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph R Biden Jr, a democratic presidential candidate, said, ''I am not sure how much good that military aid we're giving President Pervez Musharraf to fight the extremists is doing us anyway right now.'' Mr Biden said, ''I don't know that they have any notion of what they're going to do right now. There's still a faint hope that this martial law will last only a day or two, but I think we're kidding ourselves.'' The United States is estimated to have given about 11 billion dollars to Pakistan over the past six years, most of which is for defence and budget support.

Two other lawmakers -- Senator Arlen Specter (Republican) and Senator Diane Feinstein (Democrat) criticised Gen Musharraf for Saturday's action and called for international pressure to restore democracy in Pakistan.

Senator Arlen Specter said, ''the US should take the lead, with other world powers, in putting maximum pressure on Musharraf to return to democracy.'' President Bush should speak out in specific terms. We have bolstered Pakistan president with billions of dollars in recent years, and military support, and we ought to be specific that it's not going to continue.'' he emphasised.

Senator Feinstein saw a major crisis in Pakistan. ''The fear is that the country disassembles, and therefore, its military power, namely its nuclear power, becomes a huge, huge risk,'' she added.

She favored putting a moratorium on military aid to Pakistan.


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