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Pak aid should be focus upon extremism: Obama

US President Barack Obama has said that any American military aid to Pakistan needs to be used against extremism, supporting lawmakers concerns that the new financial aid should not end up building up the Pakistan Army against India.

world Updated: Jun 20, 2009 14:34 IST

US President Barack Obama has said that any American military aid to Pakistan needs to be used against extremism, supporting lawmakers concerns that the new financial aid should not end up building up the Pakistan Army against India.

"We have in the past supported Pakistan militarily. I think it is important to make sure that military support is directed at extremists and our common enemies," Obama said in an interview to the Dawn TV of Pakistan, without directly referring to the concerns raised by several American lawmakers in recent past who wanted to have tough conditions on Pakistan in lieu of any new military aid.

Many US lawmakers in the past have expressed concern that Pakistan has used American financial aid to build up its army, rather than fight extremism in its restive tribal areas.

Obama underlined the need to help Pakistan strengthen its resources that will facilitate development in the country.

"My view is that we have to help Pakistan to provide them the resources that will allow for development," Obama said. His Administration has increased the non-military aid to Pakistan to USD 1.5 billion a year for the next five years.

The President talked about the importance to base the bilateral ties beyond just military-to-military cooperation into "something richer".