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Kerry may visit Pak in next few days

Influential US Senator John Kerry, the co-author of a bill that seeks to provide $7.5 billion in aid to Pakistan in five years, is expected to pay a visit here in the next few days to address concerns about conditions related to the assistance package.

world Updated: Oct 09, 2009 20:10 IST

Influential US Senator John Kerry, the co-author of a bill that seeks to provide $7.5 billion in aid to Pakistan in five years, is expected to pay a visit here in the next few days to address concerns about conditions related to the assistance package.

Kerry, the Chairman of the powerful US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is likely to visit the Pakistan capital by sometime next week for talks with the leadership here, diplomatic sources said.

Concerns expressed by Pakistani military about conditions linked to the 7.5 billion dollars in US aid to Pakistan over the next five years are expected to dominate his discussions here, sources told PTI.

The Kerry-Lugar bill for aid to Pakistan was passed by the US Congress last week. The conditions under it require the US President to certify to Congress that Pakistan "is continuing to cooperate with the United States" on non-proliferation.

It also requires Pakistan to make "significant efforts towards combating terrorist groups", including al-Qaeda, Taliban and their affiliates, and Pakistani military not to "subvert" the political or judicial processes of the nation.

Coming out with an extraordinary statement, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, yesterday said the legislation was based on the stated policy of the Pakistan government, its military and opposition parties.

"The conditions ask nothing beyond what Pakistan's own leaders have already promised," it said.