US ignores Pak demands, says aid will be with strings

April 15th, 2009 - 12:17 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Apr 15 (ANI): The United States has said that financial assistance to Pakistan would have to be with benchmarks, ignoring Islamabad’s demands that the US not attach conditions to a non-military aid.

“I think you would expect when the US taxpayer is providing money - assistance to a country, that we want to make sure that we’re not only getting our money’s worth but that certain things that we care about, we want to see that they be dealt with,” said State Department Spokesman Robert Wood.

“So we have said, we will provide and would like to provide 1.5 billion dollars over a five-year period to Pakistan, but, clearly, we want there - we are going to establish benchmarks. We want to see certain standards and goals met,” Wood said.

“That’s something you would expect that we would - we would be willing do,” The Nation quoted Wood, as saying.

The Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Kerry, is poised to introduce a bill to massively increase non-military assistance for cash-strapped Pakistan, a key ally on the US war on terror.

Another Democrat, Congressman Howard Berman, has introduced a separate draft bill that aims to triple economic assistance to 1.5 billion dollars a year until 2013 and shore up democratic rule with conditions attached.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration on Tuesday expressed disappointment over an accord signed by President Asif Ali Zardari that allows enforcement of Sharia law in Malakand, which includes Swat region, terming it against human rights and democracy. (ANI)

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