The Kerry-Lugar Bill which provides $7.5 billion non-military aid to Pakistan in the next five years is just a beginning, the co-architect of the legislation said on Thursday and appealed to the Obama administration to provide more help to that country.
"Congress has provided $7.5 billion in non-military aid over the next five years to help address the crucial Pakistani dimension of the President's plan.
"That is a beginning but I believe there is more we can and must do with the Pakistanis, all of which can alleviate the pressure in Afghanistan," Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said.
Kerry along with Senator Richard Lugar (Ranking Member of the Committee) were the architect of the Kerry-Lugar Act which a few months ago passed a legislation to provide $7.5 billion to Pakistan in the next five years.
"What happens in Pakistan, particularly near the Afghan border, will do more to determine the outcome in Afghanistan than any increase in troops or shift in strategy," Kerry said in his opening remarks during a hearing on Afghanistan at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
"I believe it is important for the Pakistanis to understand that our commitment to them and the region is long term even as troops are reduced in Afghanistan. In fact, the conditions that permit a reduction in American troops in Afghanistan are a benefit to Pakistan," he said.