Pak caucus in US wants aid to be linked to democracy, judges restoration

April 16th, 2008 - 12:26 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Apr 16 (ANI): Co-chair of the Pakistan Caucus in the US Congress Sheila Jackson Lee has said that in future US financial aid to Pakistan should be linked to restoration of democracy, including the rehabilitation of the judicial system.

She said this while addressing a meeting on Capitol Hill, held to highlight the judicial struggle underway in Pakistan for the restoration of judges.

She said there was a great need to restore the rights and dignity of the lawyers of Pakistan and of the countrys court system. The Pakistanis had taken back the government by exercising their vote, and hopefully there would be no more constitutional disruption in Pakistan, the Daily Times quoted her as saying.

Lee also referred to the 50 million dollars held back following a rider attached to the foreign assistance bill by Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, saying that she was fully behind efforts for the return of democratic government to Pakistan.

She also said that the Pakistanis must make decisions concerning Pakistanis. My first commitment was to the people of Pakistan. The country needs an independent judicial system, she said and added that the people of the Tribal Areas need social, economic and educational development and facilities.

She said she wanted to focus attention on promises by the newly elected government to restore democracy and the judiciary. I fully understand the importance of making sure that this new government works expediently to restore peace to the region. During this period of transition, it is imperative that we examine pressing issues that face Pakistan, a nation that is a friend of the US and a vital ally in the war on terror. (ANI)

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