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Pakistan wants no-strings aid from US: diplomat

Aid from the Obama administration to Pakistan should come without strings attached, Pakistan's ambassador to the US said in a newspaper interview published on Saturday.

world Updated: Feb 07, 2009 09:25 IST

Aid from the Obama administration to Pakistan should come without strings attached, Pakistan's ambassador to the US said in a newspaper interview published on Saturday.

Husain Haqqani told the Financial Times (FT) that "assistance that is conditional is never good".

His comments came after US Vice President Joe Biden said on Friday the Obama administration would revive a plan to send 1.5 billion dollars (1.2 billion euros) of military aid to Pakistan, its key ally in the fight against Taliban forces in Afghanistan.

The US reportedly wants to triple civilian aid but impose conditions to ensure military assistance to Pakistan goes towards fighting insurgents in Afghanistan, not building up defences against India.

Biden is expected to give the first fully-fledged picture of Obama-era US foreign policy at a security conference in Munich, Germany on Saturday.

"Assistance that is conditional is never good," Haqqani told the FT.

"Our advice has been that while we can always discuss what the Americans would prefer... (conditional aid) is not going to serve US or Pakistani interests."

Haqqani pledged Pakistan would focus on fighting its "primary threat", which he said currently comes from "terrorism and not from our eastern neighbour".

But he warned: "There is no bullet that has been invented that Pakistan can be given to shoot at the terrorists that cannot be used in case there is a war with India."

Following the release of nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan on Friday, Haqqani said his freedom "may cause a short-term perception problem" though added: "Pakistan now has a genuinely independent judiciary and we have dismantled the AQ Khan network."