US to closely monitor Pakistan’s use of aid money

May 19th, 2009 - 1:38 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, May 19 (ANI): The US State Department has said Washington will closely work with the Pakistan Government in making sure that the money the money sanctioned by the US Congress is spent appropriately.

“I’m not going to address the issue of whether or not the Pakistanis are increasing their nuclear capability,” acting Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Ian C. Kelly told reporters in Washington.

“I think Admiral Mike Mullen addressed that, and so I’ll defer to the Pentagon and to the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” The Dawn quoted Kelly, as saying.

Kelly urged journalists not to connect US aid to Pakistan to Islamabad’s efforts to make more nuclear weapons because these were ‘two separate issues.’

“We shouldn’t connect these dots, we shouldn’t make this connection because this assistance package is for very specific purposes and we’re going to work very closely with the government of Pakistan to meet our joint goal,” he said.

“We’re going to make sure that the package is well spent. We’re going to work closely with the government of Pakistan to make sure that the money is spent for the specific purposes that the US Congress had in mind,” he said.

Kelly said that sufficient safeguards already existed to ensure that the US assistance to Pakistan, particularly the Kerry-Lugar package that seeks to triple the US aid, was not misused.

“We are very scrupulous custodians of the US taxpayers money,” he said. The United States, he said, would make sure that the 400 million dollar emergency aid package for Pakistan was not used for anything other than what it’s intended for.

Kelly said the US President and secretary of state had already addressed the issue of the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. “We have confidence in their command and control.”

The State Department spokesman also disagreed with the suggestion that by providing economic assistance to Pakistan, the US was indirectly helping its capability to make nuclear weapons.

Pakistan’s nuclear programme is once again causing alarm bells in Washington, and this time the focus is on Islamabad’s alleged efforts to expand its arsenal. (ANI)

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