US Senate reduces aid to Pakistan by 60%
Fri May 25, 2:17 pm
The US Senate has approved $1 billion dollars in aid to Pakistan for the coming year; a reduction from the current year of 60%.
US Senator Lindsey Graham has said that the decision came in response to the dishonesty of Pakistan towards the fight against terrorism and Pakistan’s continued blockade of NATO supply routes. He warned the aid figure might be further reduced and could eventually approach to zero if Pakistan’s cooperation doesn’t improve.
The decision comes as the ties between Islamabad and Washington have become increasingly tense due to the killing of 24 Pakistani Soldiers by NATO forces in Salala check-point bordering Afghanistan last November. Responding to NATO’s action that resulted in 24 Pakistani soldiers’ deaths, Pakistan closed its supply routes for NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan.
Recently, Pakistan announced that it would open its routes to NATO supplies for a payment of $5,000 dollars per NATO supply container. The US has refused to pay the demanded amount.
Economic experts say reduction in US financial aid to Pakistan may lead to a huge crisis.
The Chicago Summit illustrated the West was not willing to wait much longer for Pakistan to show a willingness to change and it has lost its importance for them, Kabul University Professor Syed Massoud said. He added that from now on Pakistan could face bleak days.
The American Senate has approved $52.1 billion in total foreign aid for the year 2013 but it is $2.6B less than the amount proposed by US President Barack Obama. The US House of Representatives has approved $48 billion but so far. The US House and Senate have yet to reconcile their budget differences.