Congressmen vote to cut Funds…Mediamen Cut Details

Jul 20th, 2012 | By | Category: Dawn, Pakistan Today, The News

On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives voted to cut aid to Pakistan by $650 million. According to the Washington DC newspaper POLITICO, this cut in aid only affects US aid to the military, not civilian aid. The way this vote was reported by some media groups, however, may leave people misinformed about the facts.

The News published a front page story with the headline, ‘US House of Representatives okays cut in Pakistan’s aid’ that reported that vote “would cut US aid to Pakistan by half”. This is not true.

Total US aid for Pakistan for 2012 was $2,965,029,000 – almost $3 billion. $1.4 billion of that was for economic development, not military aid.

For 2013, the US President has requested $2.4 billion to fund civilian programmes through the US State Department and USAID.

Dawn and PakistanToday both noted correctly that the cut only affects military aid, with Dawn going further and explaining that it takes more to become law than merely passing an amendment in the House of Representatives.

Ambassador Rehman, however, pointed out that “this bill has still not become policy”.

The bill now goes to the Senate and Pakistani diplomats are hoping that it may be stopped during conference, a process for merging the House and Senate version of a legislative measure.

It is also worth mentioning here that in October of last year Chief of Army Staff Gen. Kayani informed the US government and defence committees of both houses of parliament that Pakistan does not need military aid, so the $650 million cut in military aid should have no effect.

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