No change in Pak aid bill, explanatory note attached
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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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