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US to give over USD 2 bln in new military aid to Pak

A file phot of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

WASHINGTON (PTI): The US on Friday announced it will provide a whopping USD 2.29 billion in new military aid to Pakistan to bolster its army's anti-terror capabilities, notwithstanding India's concerns that Islamabad has been diverting a portion of such assistance against it.

Applauding Pakistan's role in the war against terrorism, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the US has "no stronger partner when it comes to counter-terrorism" than Islamabad.

She made the remarks at the opening of the third US-Pak Strategic Dialogue with her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

The US will be providing USD 2.29 billion to Pakistan, of which two billion is under foreign military financing programme and 29 million is being given under the international military education and training funding.

Clinton said a request will be made to Congress for the aid to be made available for the period from 2012 to 2016.

This would complement the five-year USD 7.5 billion in civilian aid to Pakistan under the Kerry-Lugar bill, she said.

This is for the first time that the US has made a multi- year commitment of international military education and training.

On his part, Qureshi said Pakistan will not allow any space to terrorists within its territory.

There will be no distinction between good and bad terrorists, he said, adding that violence against innocent people cannot be justified.

He also thanked the US for its support to his country for dealing with the aftermaths of the devastating floods there.

The fresh military aid to Pakistan is expected to cause unease in India, where President Barack Obama is set to visit in early November.

Defence Minister A K Antony, who was here last month for talks with his US counterpart Robert Gates and Clinton, had conveyed India's concerns about supply of US arms to Pakistan under the military aid to that country, arguing that a section of these are being targeted against India.

"We feel that even though the US is giving arms to Pakistan to fight terrorism, our practical experience is (that) it is always being misused. They are diverting a portion against India," Antony had said during his visit here.


Pak  US  defence  

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