As Zardari arrives for talks, US seeks to assuage Pak | world | Hindustan Times
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As Zardari arrives for talks, US seeks to assuage Pak

world Updated: May 05, 2009 23:23 IST
V. Krishna

As Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari arrived for talks with President Barack Obama and Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai, two Senate leaders moved on Monday to help shore up the Pakistani government and build popular support for the fight against extremists.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry and ranking Republican Richard Lugar introduced a bill that would triple US economic assistance to Pakistan to $1.5 billion a year for the next five years.

The Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act would help build schools, roads and hospitals and strengthen Pakistan's democracy.

The measure — based on earlier proposals by Kerry and Lugar and then-Senator Joe Biden and Lugar — delinks economic assistance from military aid. The military component is not specified. Kerry said the administration could seek approval for more or less money each year depending on need.