Tuesday, May 12, 2009

US senator pledges urgent action on Pakistan

US senator pledges urgent action on Pakistan: AFP

A key US senator pledged quick action on a giant aid package to stabilize Pakistan as a committee cleared an early one billion dollars to support the insurgency-hit US ally.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai warned of urgent challenges in a luncheon with members of the US Senate a day after a three-way summit with President Barack Obama.

Obama has pledged a new focus on fighting Taliban and Al-Qaeda extremists in the region. His special envoy, Richard Holbrooke, said the three nations would hold another meeting after Afghanistan's presidential election in August.

Senator John Kerry, head of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Richard Lugar, the ranking member of the minority Republicans, spoke with the leaders about their bill to triple civilian US aid to Pakistan to 7.5 billion dollars over the next five years.

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