Pakistan urgently needs $4-5 bn, says US senator

February 25th, 2009 - 6:14 am ICT by IANS  

TalibanWashington, Feb 25 (IANS) The US and Europe must give Pakistan $4-5 billion in urgent aid or risk seeing the nuclear-armed country slip into chaos, two leading US foreign policy voices warned Tuesday.
Democratic Senator John Kerry and Republican former senator Chuck Hagel, now chair of the Atlantic Council, a think tank, were to release a formal report Wednesday appealing for international help to stabilise Pakistan, Geo TV reported.

“If we fail, we face a truly frightening prospect: Terrorist sanctuary, economic meltdown, and spiraling radicalism, all in a nation with 170 million inhabitants and a full arsenal of nuclear weapons,” Kerry said in a statement released by the council.

Kerry, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he and Republican Senator Richard Lugar would soon introduce a legisation aiming to provide Pakistan with $7.5 billion in non-military aid over the next five years.

The bill, known as the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act, would make the aid available on the condition that the US secretary of state certifies that Pakistan’s security forces are making concerted efforts to prevent Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other terrorist groups, from operating from Pakistani territory.

The report titled - Needed: A Comprehensive US Policy Towards Pakistan - “calls for an additional $4-5 billion of immediate financial aid for Pakistan to avert an economic meltdown,” the statement added.

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