Washington: Struggling hard to restore its
ties with Pakistan in the aftermath of NATO air strike last month, the Obama Administration Wednesday said that it has not cut any civilian aid to Pakistan, noting that this is an on-going
move in the Congress right now.
"Well, first of all, just to clarify what has and hasn`t
happened here in our understanding. We have not cut USD 700
million in aid to Pakistan," State Department spokesperson
Victoria Nuland told reporters at her daily news conference.
"What we have is something on the defense authorization
bill, which is currently moving in the Congress, which would
require the Department of Defense to continue providing a
strategy on how we will use certain military assistance and
measure its progress, in particular on progress that we are
making with Pakistan on the IED issue," Nuland said in
response to a question.
Leaders of a US House-Senate negotiating panel yesterday had agreed to freeze USD 700 million in aid to Islamabad.
In a statement issued late last night, negotiating panel of the House of Representatives and the Senate unanimously agreed to freeze the USD 700 million aid to Pakistan pending
Pentagon`s delivery of a strategy for improving the
effectiveness of such assistance and assurances that Pakistan
is countering Improvised Explosive Devices networks in their
country that are targeting collation forces.
"If this legislation becomes law, we`ll work with the
government of Pakistan on how we can fulfill the requirements.
But this requires us to maintain a strategic perspective and
to be clear with our Congress about the strategy," she said.
"As you know, this is a subject that the US and Pakistan
have been working on for some time together, both through DOD
programs and through State Department programs," Nuland said.
The spokesperson did not comment in detail when asked
about the conference of the diplomatic corps in Pakistan
chaired by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
"I don`t have a comment specifically on the outcome of
the conference. I don`t have full information from our embassy
after the conference. I think you know our view that while
this relationship is sometimes difficult, it`s very important
for the US and Pakistan to continue to work together,
particularly on threats that face both of us," she said.
"Our dialogue with them continues on how we can do that
together," Nuland said.