Clauses in Kerry-Lugar Bill not binding: Pak govt

Last Updated: Thursday, October 8, 2009 - 20:52

Islamabad: A day after its powerful army
expressed "serious concern" over some of the provisions in the
US economic aid bill, Pakistan Government today said the
legislation is "not an ideal document" and that it is not
binding on it to accept clauses laid in it.

Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit said the Kerry-
Lugar Bill that envisages the provision of 7.5 billion dollars
in economic aid over five years is not a bilateral pact.

"The Kerry-Lugar bill is not a negotiated document. It
is a piece of legislation drafted by the US Congress and it is
not binding for Pakistan to accept it," he told the weekly
news briefing.

Besides his remarks at the news briefing, Basit also
told reporters that the US bill is "not an ideal document" and
its "language could have been better".

Basit`s comments came a day after the Army expressed
"serious concerns" about clauses in the legislation that it
said would impact Pakistan`s national security interests.

The ruling Pakistan People`s Party, which has pulled
out all stops to endorse the bill, was put on the back foot by
the Army`s criticism.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said the
Kerry-Lugar bill`s conditions are not binding on Pakistan and
that his government will seek to forge consensus on the issue
among political parties and all stakeholders.

Bureau Report



First Published: Thursday, October 8, 2009 - 20:52

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