Chairman Of Senate Subcommittee On Foreign Assistance Calls For Administration To Report On Pakistan Aid At Upcoming Hearing

Chairman Of Senate Subcommittee On Foreign Assistance Calls For Administration To Report On Pakistan Aid At Upcoming Hearing

With administration review of Pakistan assistance underway, Senator Menendez wants accounting of the $10 billion in aid by first week of December

Washington - The Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance today is asking Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to provide a report to the Congress on the administration's review of Pakistan assistance for an upcoming Subcommittee hearing on the matter. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) announced today that the hearing on U.S. aid to Pakistan will take place the first week Congress is in session after the Thanksgiving recess.

The Bush administration announced a review of assistance to Pakistan in light of the recent government crackdown on human rights in that country. In his letter to Secretary Rice, Senator Menendez requested that the administration "provide details about results of the assistance we have sent and report those findings to the subcommittee in December." (Letter: http://menendez.senate.gov/pdf/110907lettertoUSSecretaryofState.pdf)

The United States has sent an estimated $10 billion in assistance to Pakistan since September 11, 2001, but there are concerns over the effectiveness of that aid due to the fact that al Qaeda is operating in a safe zone along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and also due to the fact that the government has initiated a suppression of human rights over the past week.

"Americans want to know that $10 billion out of their pockets is making progress against terrorism, but all they hear about is a safe zone for al Qaeda and all they see is Pakistan devolving into chaos," said Sen. Menendez. "We need an understanding of how that money is being used, whether it's getting results and if Pakistan will continue on a path toward democracy. The review Secretary Rice is undertaking will hopefully provide some of those answers and help us make decisions on how we should target future assistance to meet our goals."

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