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US to increase aide to Pak Afghanistan

world Updated: Feb 28, 2009 00:25 IST

The United States plans to allocate a substantial portion of its US$ 533.7 billion defence budget to be given as assistance to Afghanistan and Pakistan to improve their capability to fight the 'war on terror'.

In his maiden budget presented in the Congress, President Barack Obama proposed more assistance to the two countries. However, he did not give details.

US aid to Pakistan has remained a matter of intense discussion, however, the Congressmen this time are pitching to increase non-military aid by linking it with Islamabad's success in fight against terrorism.

The 2010 Budget refocuses US resources toward addressing the resurgence of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Meanwhile Senator John Kerry said he is planning to introduce a legislation in the Senate in the next few weeks, which would triple non-military aid to Pakistan for the next one decade, amounting to USD 1.5 billion per annum.

The budget also proposes to increase assistance to both countries, providing additional funding for governance, reconstruction, counter-narcotics and other development activities that will help counter the extremists.