US lawmakers warn to cut off aid to Pakistan

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 9, 2011 - 15:57

Washington: Stepping up pressure on Pakistan,
US lawmakers have threatened to cut massive aid to the country
unless it frees an American diplomat detained over shadowy
killing of two Pakistanis.

The tough message that the US aid may be in jeopardy was
delivered to Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani by
three top Congressmen during their just concluded trip to
Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The warning by lawmakers came amid media reports that US
Administration has warned Islamabad that high level dialogue
would be at risk unless the US embassy staffer Raymond Davis
was released.

The Congressmen Howard "Buck" McKeon who heads the House
Armed Services Committee, John Kline, Chairman Education and
Labour Committee and Silvestre Reyes, the senior Democrat on
the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence told
Gilani that Islamabad should release the diplomat as certainly
there was a possibility that "there would be repercussions if
they don`t".

"During the meeting with the Prime Minister, the
delegation pressed (Yusuf Raza) Gillani on the potential
long-term implications to the US-Pakistani strategic
relationship if the US diplomat detained in Lahore is not
released," said Kline.

The influential Republican Congressman Kline told the
Pakistan Prime Minister "it is possible that a member of
Congress could come up with amendments to cut funding for
Pakistan based on the detention of Davis".

The delegation also met the powerful Chief of the Army
General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

"The delegation pressed Prime Minister Gillani on the
potential long-term implications to the US-Pakistani strategic
relationship if the Pakistani government does not release US
diplomat Raymond Davis, who is currently detained by
authorities in Lahore," Reyes said.

Talking to reporters here, McKeon said the delegation
indicated it could very well be that the US might consider
withholding funding.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, February 9, 2011 - 15:57

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