Islamabad, Sep.22 (ANI): While Pakistan is pushing the United States to approve the Kerry Lugar bill, which aims to provide 1.5 billion dollars to Islamabad as aid over the next five years, US officials who are involved in the assistance planning are apprehensive over how much money should be directly handed over to the Gilani government.
Several economic experts in the Obama Administration have visited Islamabad in the recent past to try to ensure that the money will not be wasted and misdirected, and that it would be utilized exactly for the purpose it is meant for in order to win the good will of the public in the nation where hostility against the US is increasing.
"We're struggling over how much cash to give to the government," said a senior American official involved in the aid planning.
State Department's Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources, Jacob J. Lew, also expressed worry regarding the proper disbursement of the aid.
"The money needed to go to the purposes for which it was intended. We had to choose a method of funding that was most likely to produce results efficiently and effectively," said Lew.
Officials underlined that the main goals of the new assistance will be to protect Pakistan from crumbling under threat emanating from various terrorist organizations by building infrastructure like roads and power plants, The New York Times reports.
"In return, the Obama administration expects Pakistan to keep up the fight against Islamic militants, though there are worries that the effort will turn out to be a short-term spurt overtaken by Pakistan's preoccupation with its archrival, India," the report said.
Officials said that mega infrastructure building projects like setting up of power plants would help Washington to counter the anti-American feeling among the Pakistanis.
"It was not only an assistance issue but a public image issue, too. People talk about the Chinese nuclear reactors and the Japanese." the senior American official said added. (ANI)