US State Dept seeks $2.4 billion for Pakistan in 2013 budget

US State Dept seeks $2.4 billion for Pakistan in 2013 budgetWASHINGTON: The US State Department has requested the Congress to approve $2.4 billion in allocation for Pakistan for the fiscal year 2013.

The Pakistan support and expenditure request is part of the overall budget request the Obama administration forwarded to Congress for the new fiscal year, beginning October 1, 2012. The request says the assistance to Pakistan is aimed at strengthening democratic and civil institutions that provide a bulwark against extremism, and support joint security and counter-terrorism efforts, including $800 million for the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund.

Of the total request for Pakistan, $197 million supports the US government’s civilian presence, as well as programmes for engagement with civil society. More than $1 billion aid is part of the ongoing assistance programme. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while forwarding the Department’s budget request, noted that building a stable Afghanistan depends on effective cooperation with Pakistan. – Dailytimes.