US releases 120 mln dollars for Pak as development assistance

     The United States has released 120 million dollars for Pakistan as part of its development assistance for the country for the financial year 2010-2011. Out of the 120 million dollars released by the US Agency for International Development, about 75 million dollars would go for the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and the remaining 45 million dollars have been allocated for developing higher education in the country, The Daily Times reports. The United States has provided Pakistan billions of dollars in both military and non-military aid, however, observers believe that due to the lack of accountability measures, much of the funds are being redirected by Islamabad to build its defences against rival nations, particularly India . Experts have also expressed fears about the funds landing in the hands of corrupt officials, who transfer themto extremist organisations, which are seen as strategic allies by the state. Washington has also pledged to give Pakistan 1.5 billion dollars annually, as part of the Kerry Lugar bill, over the next five years for democratic, economic and social development programs. However, concerned about the misuse of the funds, the Obama administration has also stapled several riders with the fund.

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