Feinstein wary of Pakistani relations

May 18, 2011 at 10:13 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 18 (UPI) -- It's absurd to give Pakistan "enormous sums" of military assistance while concerns linger over its commitment to terrorism, a U.S. lawmaker said.

Pakistan's commitment to U.S. efforts to combat al-Qaida, the Taliban and other regional militant groups was called into question after U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates said she was "gravely concerned" about Pakistan's commitment to fighting terrorism inside its own borders.

"The discovery of Osama Bin Laden in a military town less than 40 miles from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad indicates, at a minimum, a lack of commitment by the Pakistani military to aggressive cooperation with the United States," her letter stated.

U.S. Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Dick Lugar, R-Ind., the leaders of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, expressed reservations about Pakistan.

Kerry upon returning to Washington from a visit to Pakistan said it was time to "reset" bilateral relations after the bin Laden raid.

"At a time when we are contemplating cutbacks to foreign assistance programs and scrutinizing every domestic program to ensure maximum effectiveness, it is incongruous to be providing enormous sums to the Pakistani military unless we are certain that it is meeting its commitment to locate, disrupt and dismantle terrorist threats inside its borders," added Feinstein.

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