US lawmakers to seek balance in aid to Pakistan

A Congressional Research Service report said Pakistan is the second-ranking aid recipient of the US.

Washington: Amid an economic crisis, US lawmakers will seek a right balance between aid expenditure and its national security interest in Pakistan, the second largest recipient of American aid, a Congressional report has said, indicating that Islamabad can no longer expect free cheques.

"Given the current budgetary constraints facing the United States and the recent strained relationship, the 112th Congress may question the return on such large investments in Pakistan, the second-largest US aid recipient," the bipartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) said in a latest report.

"Lawmakers will seek the right balance between US aid expenditures to promote US national security interests in Pakistan and the region versus belt-tightening foreign aid cuts and accountability measures to address the lack of trust between the two governments," said the report `Pakistan: US Foreign Assistance`, released yesterday.

According to the 44-page CRS report, Pakistan is the second-ranking aid recipient of the US.

"Since 1948, the United States has pledged more than USD 30 billion in direct aid, about half for military assistance. Two-thirds of this total was appropriated in the post-9/11 era from Financial Year 2002-2010," the report said.

CRS said in the 2010 supplemental appropriations, Congress provided USD 349 million in military and economic assistance to Pakistan, USD 5 million more than the Administration`s request.


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