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'Blocking US aid will send clear message about counter-terrorism objectives to Pak'

Washington, Thu, 21 Jul 2011 ANI

Washington, July 21(ANI): The United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, has said that the Bill to block the country's aid to Pakistan, unless it allows access to Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden's relatives living in Abbottabad, is a measure that would send a clear message about Washington's counter-terrorism objectives to Islamabad.


"Pakistan is on notice that it is no longer business as usual and that they will be held to account if they continue to refuse to cooperate with our efforts to eliminate the nuclear black market, destroy the remaining elements of Osama Bin Laden's network, and vigorously pursue our counter-terrorism objectives," Politico quoted Ros-Lehtinen, as saying.


"I think the prospect of a cutoff of assistance will get their attention and that the games being played with our security will finally stop," she added.


The Bill, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, would also condition US aid to Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen and the Palestinian Authority on forbidding groups like "Hamas, Hezbollah" or "other foreign terrorist organizations or violent extremist groups" from holding positions in their governments.


A separate spending bill likely will provide 40 billion dollars for foreign operations next year, nine billion dollars less than the current amount and 11 billion dollars less than Obama requested.


The latest development comes as the House is looking at significant cuts in the annual budget for the State Department and foreign assistance. (ANI)


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