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Pak says US has allayed fears on aid bill

Source: PTI
October 15, 2009 01:14 IST
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As the United States Congress issued an "explanatory statement" saying the aid bill does not seek to compromise Pakistan's sovereignty, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the debate on the conditions in the legislation can be concluded as US concerns allayed its fears.

Qureshi, who rushed to the US and held discussions with lawmakers and other senior officials regarding the concerns raised by various quarters in Pakistan, said the US assurances would "allay the fears" his country.

"This document today is I think a historic document, a step forward in our relationship," Qureshi told a joint news conference with Senator John Kerry, co-architect of the $7.5 billion aid, and Congressman Howard Berman.

"I am going back to Pakistan to tell my Parliament and conclude the debate on the note that our relationship can move forward -- we will deepen it and we will strengthen it," he said.

The Pakistan Army and opposition parties have opposed some of the provisions of the bill, saying they impacted on national security and sovereignty.

Qureshi's comments came as Congress issued an "explanatory statement" in an effort to placate the concerns of Pakistan on the aid bill, saying the legislation does not seek in any way to compromise Islamabad's sovereignty and impinge on its security interests.

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