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US drops 'India, AQ Khan' riders from Pak aid bill

US drops 'India, AQ Khan' riders from Pak aid bill

Author: ANI
Publication: MSN News
Date: June 14, 2009
URL: http://news.in.msn.com/international/article.aspx?cp-documentid=3042128

In what may be seen as a major concession to Pakistan, the US House of Representatives has dropped demands of access to the disgraced nuclear scientist Dr A.Q. Khan and preventing terrorist attacks against India as conditions from the aid bill offering Islamabad 1.5 billion dollars for the next five years.

When the Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement Act' (PEACE) was first tabled in the Congress in April, it required Pakistan to fulfill some major requirements in order to qualify for the aid.

The act asked Pakistan to improve relations with India, and stop supporting the cross border terrorism.

It also asked Islamabad to provide 'access to Pakistani nationals' and especially to Dr. A.Q. Khan who is connected to proliferation networks.

However, the House Foreign Affairs Committee has now omitted the part that named Dr Khan, The Dawn reports.

Even though, the language of the US aid bill has been reworked, it still has certain benchmarks in place for Pakistan.

According to the restrictions included in the PEACE act, an evaluation of efforts would be undertaken by the Pakistan government to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other extremist and terrorist groups in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and other regions.

The act also asks for a crackdown on all terrorist camps operating inside Pakistan, including those of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

One of the major conditions put forth in the PEACE act is to cease all support for extremist and terrorist groups, and increase oversight over curriculum in madrasas.

It also asks for the closing down of all the madrasas which are directly linked to the Taliban and other militant organizations.

The assistance could also stop if the US president fails to certify that Pakistan is cooperating with nuclear non-proliferation efforts.

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