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US House OKs $1.5 bn Pak assistance for 2010

Last Updated: Friday, December 11, 2009 - 16:29

Washington: The US House of Representatives on Friday approved nearly USD 1.5 billion of assistance to Pakistan to be spent under the Kerry-Lugar legislation that asks Islamabad cease support to terrorist groups on its soil and dismantle camps that threaten its neighbours.
The amount was approved as part of the massive USD 1.1 trillion appropriations bill. The US Senate is expected to pass the bill by this weekend.

According to a statement issued by the Committees on Appropriations, Pakistan would receive USD 1.459 billion for the fiscal year 2010, which is USD 17.5 million above the 2009 enacted level including supplemental appropriations.

But this is USD 123.5 million below the request, it said.

In all, Pakistan would receive USD 3.8 billion in the financial year 2010, which began October 1, 2009.

Besides the USD 1.5 billion passed by the House today, the US has already approved USD 1.6 billion for Pakistan under the Coalition Support Fund, which provides for reimbursement of expenditure that Pakistan incurs in providing infrastructure facilities to the coalition.

The US will also spend USD 700 million on Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund in the new fiscal year. The programme is dedicated to bolstering the anti-terror partner`s ability to combat insurgents in the restive regions along the Afghan border.

US President Obama had in October signed the bill that triples US non-military aid to Pakistan to USD 1.5 billion annually over the next five years.

The bill also asks Pakistan to cease support to terrorist groups on its soil, dismantle terrorist camps in Quetta, Muridke and other areas that threaten its neighbours.

The Bill also asks Pakistan to provide information or direct access to the proliferation network operating in Pakistan without mentioning disgraced nuclear scientist AQ Khan by name.

According to the conference report, the funds appropriated by this Act for assistance for Afghanistan and Pakistan may be made available for government-to-government assistance only if the Secretary of State certifies to the Committees on Appropriations.

Secretary has to certify that the US and the government of the recipient country have agreed, in writing, to clear and achievable goals and objectives for the use of such funds, and have established mechanisms within each implementing agency to ensure that such funds are used for the purposes for which they were intended.

The Appropriations has also set aside USD 2 million from the Pak assistance fund and merged with, funds available under the heading "Administration of Foreign Affairs, Office of Inspector General" for oversight of programs in Pakistan.

PTI

First Published: Friday, December 11, 2009 - 16:29
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