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Aid bill provisions not to impinge Pak sovereignty: US

October 08, 2009 02:53 IST

The United States today tried to remove concerns over conditions attached to its economic aid to Pakistan, stating that the Kerry-Lugar Bill has in built monitoring mechanism but does not impinge on Pakistan's sovereignty. The statement comes in the wake of uproar in Pakistan including its Army and the opposition parties who are opposing conditions imposed on Pakistan in lieu of the military aid, which is linked to its progress on action against terrorism.

"In terms of some of the requirements that we have for our assistance, of course, since we are stewards of US taxpayer funds, we have to build in certain consultation mechanisms, monitoring mechanisms. These are in no way intended to impinge on Pakistan's sovereignty," State Department spokesman, Ian Kelly, told media-persons in Washington. "I think a lot of the concerns have been because we are really ramping up our assistance programme. And of course there is a requirement for a certain infrastructure for our people out there. We want to modernise the embassy. We're expanding the number of personnel out there," Kelly said.

Meanwhile, the White House said President Barack Obama will discuss the concerns expressed by certain quarters over the US economic aid Bill during the 'situation room meeting'. "The President would sign the Bill shortly," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said. The administration is aware about the concerns being raised inside Pakistan on the issue. This will be discussed with other issues when the President hold his situation room meeting, Gibbs said. 

Kelly denied reports that the military aid is a "payoff" to Pakistan for fight against terrorism. "We certainly don't see it as a payoff. We see it as a means for helping Pakistan meet this common threat to our two societies. The reason we say a partnership is because a modern and effective Pakistani military is in our interest as well as Pakistan's interest, and we want to help Pakistan build that kind of capacity or capability," Kelly said.

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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