US Congress votes against proposal to cut aid to Pakistan

Washington, July 9(ANI): The United States House of Representatives has voted against two amendments proposing to slash the two-billion-dollar US aid to Pakistan, despite the discomfort expressed by several legislators about continuing assistance to the country in the wake of Osama bin Laden's discovery and killing in Abbottabad.

Representative Ted Poe, a Republican from Texas, moved the amendments to the Defence Appropriations Act for the fiscal year 2012.

The first amendment, which proposed slashing 1 billion dollars from the funds that the US government gives countries that have partnered in helping it in the war on terror, failed in a 131-297 vote.

The second amendment proposed a cut of 1 billion dollars in funds that the US gives to Pakistan for its efforts in counter-insurgency activities.

That the amendment was introduced by a Republican in Congress should worry policymakers in Islamabad, who have traditionally relied on support from that party, since Democrats- the other major party in the US- has historically been more hostile towards Pakistan, The Express Tribune reports.

While Republican leaders did not back the amendment, several influential lawmakers, such as Senator Lindsay Graham (Republican from South Carolina) and Senator Carl Levin (Democrat from Michigan) have questioned the US alliance with Pakistan and have begun to use increasingly hostile language about what they perceive to be Islamabad's deceptive behaviour.

Various members of the Senate and House have called for a new look at aid being given to Pakistan following the May 2 US raid on Osama Bin Laden's hideout in Abbottabad.

Copyright Asian News International/