US lawmakers warn to cut off aid to Pakistan
Last Updated: Wednesday, February 09, 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 09, 2011, 15:57


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