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US lawmaker urges no cash for Pakistanis

6 May 2011 No Comment

A KEY US lawmaker on Wednesday urged a halt to an aid programme for flood victims in Pakistan in the wake of revelations that slain Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin laden lived there unperturbed for years.

Republican Representative Kay Granger, who chairs a key committee with oversight over foreign assistance, pressed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to shelve nearly US$200 million in ‘cash payments’ to Pakistan agencies.

‘My opposition to the programme has only been heightened by the discovery of the most notorious terrorist in the world living hundreds of yards from a Pakistani military installation for more than five years,’ said Mr Granger.

‘This reinforces my greater concern that the government may be incapable of distributing US funds in a transparent manner that allows proper oversight of taxpayer dollars,’ the lawmaker said in a letter to Mrs Clinton.

Mr Granger said the weekend raid that saw Osama die at the hands of US special forces and revealed he lived in a fortified compound not far from Pakistan’s capital had left ‘immense uncertainty’ about bilateral ties.

At issue was a plan to provide US$190 million of US assistance for victims of devastating floods in Pakistan through a special compensation fund that would give them debit cards to rebuild their homes.

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