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Pakistan's top military commanders have issued a statement expressing
"serious concern" over conditions in an unprecedented $7.5 billion U.S.
The generals are sending civilian officials a formal
notice about the military's reservations about some of the bill's
clauses, which they say affect Pakistan's national security. But the
military said Pakistan's parliament would make the final decision over
whether to accept the aid.
The Kerry-Lugar bill could limit
the amount of aid Pakistan receives if the United States believes the
country is not making a sustained commitment against Taliban and al
Pakistan's military has no formal role in
political deliberations, but its opinions in matters of national
security are extremely influential with lawmakers, who are debating the
Top civilian officials in Pakistan have welcomed the U.S. bill, which would triple non-military aid to the country.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried Tuesday to dispel concerns
that the bill would undermine Pakistan's sovereignty, saying the
program is a sincere effort to help the people of Pakistan.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in Washington Tuesday he is
convinced that the Obama administration will not try to "micro-manage"
The Kerry-Lugar bill provides up to $1.5
billion per year for five years for development, boosting the country's
economy and building state institutions. It also provides funds for
training Pakistan's security forces.
The bill calls for U.S.
officials to periodically verify that Pakistan is trying to prevent the
spread of nuclear weapons, crack down on Taliban and al Qaida linked
militants and prevent them from plotting attacks elsewhere. It also
calls for verification that Pakistan's security forces are not
subverting the country's political and judicial processes.