INTERNATIONAL

Pakistan may lose $1.5 billion U.S. aid

Islamabad: Pakistan may loose $1.5 billion financial aid from the U.S. as a Congressional bill, which was set to debate the 10-year package, has lapsed, a news report said.

The Pakistani daily Dawn said that the Biden-Lugar Bill, which would have provided as much as $ 1.5 billion to Pakistan over a period of 10 years expired in 2008 along with the term of the U.S. Congress which was to debate it. The bill must now be reintroduced by the Senate, it said quoting Pakistani Urdu-language daily Jang.

However, Pakistan’s U.S. envoy Hussain Haqqani was quoted as saying by the private television channel Geo that the bill had not been sidelined and remained an integral component of future Pakistan-U.S. relations. He underlined that the lapsing of the bill was a technicality of the transition of power within the U.S. and the bill would soon be reintroduced by the U.S. Senate. The aid through the bill is desperately needed to boost Pakistan’s economy. The Obama administration has indicated the U.S. will hold Pakistan accountable for security in the border region with Afghanistan. — PTI

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