‘Long term support to Pakistan in America`s interest’
Last Updated: Friday, October 09, 2009, 11:58
  
Washington: Providing long term support to Pakistan and helping the country to become a strong economy and stable democracy is in the interest of the United States, the Obama administration has said.

"We want to launch a partnership with Pakistan, and this is because this is in our national security interests to do this," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters referring to the opposition inside Pakistan against the Kerry-Lugar bill.

Passed by the US Congress last week, the bill triples civilian assistance to Pakistan to USD 7.5 billion in the next five years; but imposes conditions on it in lieu of the military aid.

"I think that we need to perhaps communicate better about what this bill entails. The bill does have some certification and monitoring requirements that are common for these kinds of assistance bills," Kelly said.

"There are assistance bills for other countries as well. I know that the assistance bill for aid to Egypt and the assistance bill for aid to Colombia also have these similar kinds of certification requirements, and this is all in the name of accountability," he said.

"It's something that the Legislative Branch levies on the Executive Branch. This is the Legislative Branch imposing conditions on us to certify that certain actions are taking place," he added.

Kelly, however, welcomed the debate going on in the Pakistani Parliament on this issue. "We want to be very open and transparent about what this bill does and doesn't do. I mean, there's no secret annex to this bill," he asserted.

"We welcome this kind of debate. It doesn't necessarily imply the debate is over and that anybody has rejected our proposal," he said.

Bureau Report


First Published: Friday, October 09, 2009, 11:58


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