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No change in Pak aid bill, explanatory note attached

Last Updated: Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 18:15

Washington: As US President Barack Obama
prepares to sign the USD 7.5 billion aid bill for Pakistan,
two key Congressional committees refused to make changes to
its text but allayed the country`s concerns, saying the
legislation does not seek to compromise its sovereignty.

An "explanatory statement" issued jointly by the Senate
and House Foreign Affairs Committees last night, rejected
concerns that US was trying to "micro-manage" Pakistan`s
internal affairs.

"There is no intent to, and nothing in this Act in any
way suggests that there should be any US role in micromanaging
internal Pakistani affairs, including promotion of Pakistani
military officers or the internal operations of the Pakistan
military," said the explanatory note.

The statement came after Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah
Mehmood Qureshi rushed to Washington in a last-minute bid to
seek changes in the bill some provisions of which were being
viwed by the Pakistan Army as "highly intrusive".

Qureshi termed as "historic" the statement on the bill
to provide USD 7.5 billion to Pakistan over the next five
years, and called for conclusion of the debate in his country.

"I am going back to Pakistan to tell my parliament and
conclude the debate on the note that our relationship can move
forward, we will deepen and strengthen it," he said.

The explanatory note is to be attached as annex to the
Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009 and the bill
will be placed in the US Congress today.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 18:15

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