US to ensure increased aid is used to uplift Pakistanis

March 29th, 2009 - 2:15 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Mar 29 (ANI): The United States fully supports the elected leadership of Pakistan and will work with them closely to ensure that the enhanced American assistance is used toward socio-economic uplift of the people as part of efforts to deal with violent extremism afflicting the country.

US official Bruce Riedel, chair and lead author of the panel that crafted the policy for the Obama Administration’s way forward in the Pakistan-Afghanistan region, called for proceeding cautiously on putting any overly-legislative or other restrictions on aid for Pakistan.

“We support the elected leadership of Pakistan as the US president indicated in his speech, we’re going to make sure that there is rigorous oversight (of aid) by an inspector general’s office.

“And we’re going to work very, very intensively with our Pakistani partners, the democratically elected civilian leadership in Pakistan, to see that we are moving in the right direction, in the same direction that we want to go,” the Daily Times quoted Riedel, as saying.

Riedel said that any moves towards strict restrictions should not push Washington into a corner, as has been the case in the past when US legislative conditions on Pakistani aid backfired.

“The United States has a long history of legislative-required sanctions on Pakistan. I think one of the things that we have learned from that history is that we need to be very careful in how we do this, and that we need to work with the Pakistanis and not box ourselves in or box them in.

“So it’s going to be a complex process. We will work very closely with the [Capitol] Hill on the legislation,” he said.

Meanwhile, US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Richard Boucher has confirmed that the actual American assistance for Pakistan will be higher than 1.5 billion dollars to be mandated under Kerry-Lugar legislation, and in addition, there would be a substantial increase in military aid. (ANI)

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