Pak aid bill critical to US security interests: Holbrooke

June 12th, 2009 - 12:09 pm ICT by ANI  

Richard Holbrooke Washington, June 12 (ANI): US Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke has said that the huge humanitarian and military aid being offered to Pakistan is critical for America’s security interests.

“Pakistan needs our help and that help is in our own national security interests. And that’s why Barack Obama has endorsed the bill (in Senate) by John Kerry and Richard Lugar,” The Daily Times quoted Holbrooke, as saying.

He stressed that the economic assistance and a preferential trade programme for Islamabad would help the country come out of the prevalent turbulent situation.

Holbrooke’s remarks came at a time when lawmakers are discussing over building momentum towards progress on two versions of the bill in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Top US officials have also been urging lawmakers on approval of the Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs) initiative.

“The ROZs are a high-priority item for the US government .We have been in extensive communications with the leadership in the House and Senate, particularly the House, because it has to originate in the House,” said Holbrooke.

Holbrooke also observed that the whole legislative process attached with the Pakistan aid bill was complicated, but the officials have spur up their efforts so that the bill is passed as soon as possible.

“This legislation is vitally important to our national interests in Pakistan. It’s complicated, but it is tremendously important,” Holbrooke said. (ANI)

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