Obama proposes USD 2.2 bn aid to Pak in 2013

The Obama administration proposed USD 2.4 billion in financial aid to Pakistan.

Washington: Unveiling its annual budget of USD 3.8 trillion that calls for tax hikes on the rich, the Obama administration on Monday proposed USD 2.4 billion in
financial aid to Pakistan for the fiscal year 2013.

Of this, USD 2.2 billion is in assistance to strengthen democratic and civil institutions that provide a bulwark against extremism and support joint security and counter- terrorism efforts, including USD 800 million for the Pakistan Counter insurgency Capability Fund, the State Department said soon after the White House sent the budgetary proposals to the Congress.

In addition to this, the budget also proposes USD 197 million support to the US government`s civilian presence, as well as programs for engagement with civil society, it said.

In all, the budgetary proposals of President Barack Obama provides USD 8.2 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations to support the extraordinary and temporary costs of civilian- led programs and missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The budgetary proposals are for the fiscal year 2013 beginning October 1, 2012 and this needs to be approved by both the chambers of the US Congress - the House of Representatives and the Senate - before it is implemented.

Obama`s budgetary proposals also include USD 4.6 billion for Afghanistan. This includes USD 2.5 billion in assistance for counterterrorism-related programs, economic growth, reconciliation and reintegration, and capacity building, as
well as to support progress in governance, rule of law, counter narcotic, agriculture, health and education.

USD 2.1 billion is proposed for supporting the expansion of the diplomatic and interagency presence, the extraordinary costs of security in a conflict zone, and public diplomacy programs to build long-lasting bridges with civil society.