US has assured aid would be provided directly to Pak: Tareen

      Finance Minister Shaukat Tareen has said the US has ensured Pakistan that a large part of the aid pledged by Washington would go directly to the government. Tareen told media persons in New York that during his meeting with American officials, he was told that Washington would provide the assistance directly to the Pakistan government. Earlier, the United States approved 2.376 billion dollars as aid for Pakistan. The US government also tabled an aid bill of 2.282 billion dollars in the Congress for Pakistan for the financial year 2009-10. The bill placed in the American Congress includes both military and humanitarian assistance, The News reports. It is worth mentioning here that the US has pledged 1.5 billion dollars of annual assistance to Pakistan for five years through the Kerry-Lugar bill. The Kerry Lugar bill is likely to be approved by the American Senate by the end of this month. While Islamabad has been pushing Washington to fulfill its pledge as soon as possible and reduce the administrative cost on the aid being offered, the US maintains that most of the financial assistance included in the bill would be channelled through government institutions and mechanisms.

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