Pakistan would get a whopping $9.1 billion in the US non-military aid in just four years as part of a law approved by a key Congressional Committee, an almost 100 per cent increase in what was given by the Bush Administration to Islamabad on per annum basis.
The Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement (PEACE) Act, passed by the powerful House Committee on Foreign Affairs during its mark-up hearing by a voice vote early this week, would give $9.1 billion in aid to Pakistan in four years, according to the estimates released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
During presidency of George W Bush, the United States dolled out more than $10 billion in eight years.
The CBO on Friday said it "estimates that implementing the bill would cost $9.1 billion over the 2010-2014 period, assuming appropriation of the authorised and estimated amounts."
Giving detailed cost analysis of the PEACE Act of 2009 or House Resolution 1886, which has now been sent to the floor of the House for approval, the CBO said the bill would establish a Pakistan Democracy and Prosperity Fund and authorise the appropriation of $1.5 billion a year over the 2010-2013 period — a total of $6 billion over four years — to provide non-security assistance to Pakistan.
The bill, proposed by Chairman of House Committee on Foreign Affairs Howard Berman, would also establish a Pakistan Counter-insurgency Capabilities Fund and authorise the appropriation of $700 million in 2010 and such sums as may be necessary over the 2011-2013 period — an estimated total of $2.9 billion over four years — for counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism assistance to Pakistan.
Finally, the bill would authorise the appropriation of $400 million a year over the 2010-2013 period — a total of $1.6 billion over four years — for other security assistance to Pakistan, the CBO said in a report to the House.
This is in addition to the more than $2.1 billion proposed by the Obama Administration and passed by the Congress in its war supplemental for the current fiscal ending September 30. This includes $1.5 billion as civilian aid, and $400 million for the newly-established counter insurgency fund.
As part of the humanitarian measure, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had announced early this week $100 million for the refugees of Swat Valley, in addition to $60 million already given to Pakistan for the same purpose.
In April, an international donors' conference committed more than $5 billion in aid to Pakistan in the next two years. The UN has further appealed for $500 million for humanitarian aid for the refugees of Pakistan, displaced as a result of the Pakistan Army action against Taliban militants in the Swat Valley and adjoining areas.