Obama Admin seeks steep decline in aid to Pakistan
The Obama Administration has requested to the US Congress for a steep decline in its economic and security aid to Pakistan for the year 2014, a latest Congressional report has said.
Washington: The Obama Administration has requested to the US Congress for a steep decline in its economic and security aid to Pakistan for the year 2014, a latest Congressional report has said.
The request, if accepted, will see this aid coming down by more than one-third against that given to Pakistan in 2012.
"The Administration has requested nearly USD 1.2 billion economic and security aid to Pakistan for financial year 2014. This represents a steep decline from total assistance of about USD1.9 billion (excluding Coalition Support Fund) during financial year 2012," the report on US aid to Pakistan prepared by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) said.
Estimated financial year 2013 allocations are not yet available, said CRS, which is the bipartisan and independent research wing of the US Congress and prepares periodic reports on issues of interest to the US lawmakers, so that they can take informed decisions.
Since 1948, the US has pledged more than USD 30 billion in direct aid, about half for military assistance, and more than two-thirds appropriated in the post-2001 period.
According to the CRS, the fiscal 2014 budget request indicates the level of importance the Obama Administration places on a "stable, democratic, and prosperous" Pakistan because of its "critical role" in the region with respect to US counter-terrorism efforts, nuclear nonproliferation, regional stability, the peace process in Afghanistan, and regional economic integration and development.
For fiscal year 2014, beginning October 1 this year, the Administration is requesting a total of USD 1,162.57 million, of which about two-thirds is for economic assistance and one-third is for security assistance.
"The total includes USD 281.2 million, considered to be Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) that is not part of the core request but is identified by the Administration as extraordinary, temporary funding needs for frontline states," CRS said.