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Saturday, July 31, 2021

US congress approves $150 million assistance for Pakistan

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The US House of Representatives has approved one hundred fifty million dollars new assistance for Pakistan to address economic needs in the next fiscal year. This amount will be in addition to allocation Pakistan will receive under regular budget for the next year. The US Administration has already requested over nine hundred million dollars for Pakistan in the year 2009. The Senate will take up the matter shortly.

We are still looking forward to a long-term commitment from the United States, manifested in a democracy dividend of at least $1.5 billion a year as proposed by two of the wisest senators of the US, Biden and Lugar, said Ambassador Husain Haqqani while commenting on the release of US funds to Pakistan. All disagreements between Pakistan and the US will be resolved. And we will not let anything come between our visions of a strategic partnership between the two democracies, he said.

Pakistan currently receives between $80 to 90 million a month from the coalition support fund. But recently, the reimbursements faced severe criticism from US lawmakers who claimed that Pakistan was using this money to buy weapons that can only be used in a conventional war against India and not for fighting insurgents.

However Islamabad has countered the argument by saying that reimbursement is not aid and Pakistan is free to use this money for whatever it wants to purchase. The US administration initially accepted Pakistan’s argument but later tightened the reimbursement procedure following claims in the US Congress that Islamabad was inflating its expenses. The US administration remains divided on this issue.

According to another news US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report has said that nearly six billion US dollars provided by the US to Pakistan to fight against terrorism since the September 9, 2001 attacks on America has little been used for that purpose. The findings were released in a report on Tuesday showed a troubling lack of oversight and accountability for the US funds to Pakistan that were meant to combat terrorism.

According to GAO, there were lacks of oversight of two billion of dollars that have been doled out in Pakistan in an effort to fight terrorism. The US has provided Pakistan about USD 5.6 billion in payments since 2001 attacks on World Trade Centre, which killed more than 3000 people. The GAO found several cases where the Bush Administration could not explain or account for such payments, including millions of dollars for road construction with no evidence that any roads were built, and reimbursement costs to the Pakistan military that may be duplicative.-SANA

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Rubab Saleemhttp://www.rubabsaleem.com
Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times
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