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US to give $532m to Pakistan under Kerry-Lugar Act

US to give $532m to Pakistan under Kerry-Lugar Act

ISLAMABAD: US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard G Olson has met Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar and informed him that the United States Congress has notified a $532 million civilian assistance package for Pakistan under the Kerry-Lugar Act.

According to an official statement, Olson discussed with the minister the breakup of assistance being given for different sectors such as energy, defence against terrorism, economic growth, community building, education and health.

The finance minister remarked that the government should spend a large amount of this assistance for the rehabilitation of the temporary displaced persons of North Waziristan Agency.

The act was passed in the year 2009 by the US Congress to authorise appropriations for fiscal years 2010 through 2014 to promote an enhanced strategic partnership with Pakistan and its people, and for other purposes. Olson also discussed the agenda for the expected visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry to Pakistan in January 2015.

Dar also discussed with the ambassador the speedy delivery of Boeing aircraft which PIA has sought to acquire to upgrade its fleet, which he said was on the priority list of the government.

The minister told the ambassador that they are preparing for giving a briefing to the donors about the rehabilitation work being carried out for the TDPs of North Waziristan and the flood affected communities. The US envoy also congratulated Pakistan on the successful completion of fourth and fifth IMF review and the subsequent rise of the foreign exchange reserves to $15 billion, which could provide government an opportunity to become a member of International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and enjoy better financial packages.

During the meeting, the US ambassador also discussed the agenda for the expected visit of Secretary Kerry to Pakistan in January next year.

The US ambassador also expressed his grief and offered condolences over the terrorist attack on Peshawar school on December 16, in which 150 people including 134 children were killed.