US Senate approves enhanced aid bill for Pakistan worth 1.5 billion dollars

June 17th, 2009 - 12:19 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, June 17 (ANI): The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee has passed the enhanced aid bill for Pakistan offering 1.5 billion dollars annually over the next five years.

The bill named the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act, commonly known as the Kerry-Lugar bill, is primarily aimed to counter terrorism.

Addressing the Congress, the Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry highlighted on the need of assisting Pakistan in its drive to quell extremism from its soil, and rehabilitate thousands of people who have been rendered homeless due to the on going military operation in Swat and Malakand.

“This is a critical moment for Pakistan,” the Daily Times quoted Kerry, as saying.

“This bill will help the Pakistanis fighting to turn their country toward a path of moderation and stability,” he added.

The aid would come with certain benchmarks, but none of them is India centric or concerned with the issue of nuclear proliferation.

The bill will now go to the full chamber, before the Senate and the House of Representative hold a conference to arrive at a reconciled version of the act.

According to an estimate, the United States has already appropriated and disbursed a total of 3.2 billion dollars in aid to Pakistan. (ANI)

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