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US Senate panel reduces Pakistan aid by over half

Sounding a fresh warning to Pakistan, a key Senate panel has voted to slash American assistance to Islamabad by more than half, approving only $1 billion in aid for fiscal 2013 and warned of further cuts unless it reopens Nato supply routes to Afghanistan.

world Updated: May 24, 2012 00:07 IST

Sounding a fresh warning to Pakistan, a key Senate panel has voted to slash American assistance to Islamabad by more than half, approving only $1 billion in aid for fiscal 2013 and warned of further cuts unless it reopens Nato supply routes to Afghanistan.


The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, which passes the budget for the State Department, on Tuesday approved only $1 billion in assistance to Pakistan, slashing nearly $900 million from the aid that the country had been due to receive this year and next.

The Senate action reflected growing American anger over a month-long standoff and comes just after a Nato Summit in Chicago where Washington had hoped to reach a deal with Islamabad on supply routes.

"The panel voted to cut aid to Pakistan by 58% in fiscal 2013 as lawmakers questioned Islamabad's commitment to fight against terrorism," said Republican Senator Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the sub-committee.

"We are not going to invest in a country that won't help us in a reasonable way to deal with threats to our forces in Afghanistan," the senator told reporters after the vote.

Pak readies 4th nuclear reactor

Pakistan is halfway through the construction of its fourth nuclear reactor at Khushab, which will give it capability to speed up plutonium manufacturing, latest US satellite imagery has revealed.

On completion, the reactor would enable Islamabad to build large number of smaller nuclear warheads, Washington-based eminent think-tank Institute for Science and International Security said.

The construction of the fourth reactor is proceeding 30% faster than the construction on reactor three.