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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pakistan Seeks Passage of Kerry-Lugar Bill

ISLAMABAD, Sept 7: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani called upon the United States on Monday to expedite passage of the Kerry-Lugar bill and Reconstruction Opportunities Zones (ROZ) bill by the Congress for delivering the peace dividend by way of investments in health, industry and infrastructure sectors in Swat, Malakand and tribal regions.

Talking to a US delegation comprising Congressmen Adam Smith and Bobby Neal and Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford, he stressed the need for channelling disbursement of US financial assistance through the established mechanism and institutions in Pakistan to save on administrative expenses on projects run by the USAID and NGOs.

Mr Gilani also called for fulfilling the commitment about assistance for law-enforcement agencies in Swat and Malakand regions and said that personnel of the agencies would adequately prepare themselves for taking over from the armed forces on completion of the current operation.

He said that the armed forces needed immediate replenishment of aviation spares and ammunition and helicopters and counter-intelligence equipment.

He emphasised enhanced exchange of actionable real-time intelligence between the two countries and transfer of drone technology to Pakistan. Members of the delegation assured the prime minister of their complete support for early passage of the bills.

From here.

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