Sharif in UK as Brit MPs urged to cut Pakistan aid

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: May 01, 2014 00:11 IST

As Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived in London for bilateral talks, a key committee of the House of Commons on Wednesday said Britain should cut its aid to Pakistan unless there was ‘clear evidence’ that it was being used to reduce the threat of extremism.

Noting that Britain had “very large bilateral programmes” in Pakistan, the International Development Committee said that it was unlikely that Britain’s aid would have been “so high if the country were not having to confront Islamic extremism”.

It said: “(If) if this is the case, the budget can only be justified if there is clear evidence that DFID (Department for International Development) support is effective in reducing the extremist threat”.

The report added: “If not, we recommend that DFID consider reducing spending in Pakistan and increasing it in low income countries. We also draw attention to our report on Pakistan and our recommendation that aid should not be increased unless the Pakistan Government increases its tax collection and the political leadership pay their fair and proportionate share of taxes”.

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