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US lawmakers for making aid to Pak conditional

world Updated: May 06, 2009 10:53 IST

Expressing concerns over the questionable record of Pakistan in utilising US aid, American lawmakers, cutting across party lines, have called for imposition of tough conditions on the Pakistani establishment in lieu of the massive financial aid of USD 7.5 billion to Islamabad in the next five years.

In fact the voices in favour of conditioning aid to Pakistan grew louder than ever on Tuesday, even as the Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari was himself at the Capitol Hill, briefing key Congressional leaders on current situation in his country and seeking more civilian and military aid for his government.

A discomforted Obama Administration tried to assure the lawmakers that things are a bit different this time and what happened earlier is now a thing of the past.

“We are simply asking the Pakistanis to keep the commitments they have already made to fight the terrorists who threaten our national security and theirs, and that they make some progress doing so, with progress defined very broadly,” Howard L Berman, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said when Richard Holbrooke, the special US Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan testified before his committee.