US Senate committee clears 1.5 B dollar per year aid for Pakistan

June 17th, 2009 - 12:32 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, June 17 (ANI): The US Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee has passed a bill that allows Pakistan to receive 1.5 billion dollars non-military assistance every year for the next five years.

The bill, which is titled as the ‘Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009′, was passed Tuesday by a 16 to 0 vote.

The Senate version of the bill has a much more lenient view towards Pakistan with regard to accountability, transparency and oversight of the US aid on Pakistan. It permits the Obama Administration to take a final call on these aspects.

The House of Representatives version, on the other hand, has strictures placed on Pakistan with regard to that country’s fight against terrorism and non-proliferation.

The Obama administration has objected to the House Bill on grounds that the strictures imposed on Islamabad could backfire on Washington’s global surge against terrorism.

The Kerry-Lugar Bill (named after Democrat John Kerry and Republican Richard Lugar) will now go to the Senate floor. Once the bill is passed by the Senate, the members of the two Chamber of the Congress — the House of Representatives and the Senate — would go into a conference to club both the versions of the bill into one. (ANI)

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