$ 7b Pak aid bill becomes law

$ 7b Pak aid bill becomes law

Obama signed the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009 – popularly known as Kerry-Lugar Bill, a day before the expiry of the mandatory 10 days time after the bill was sent to him by the Congress.

“This law is the tangible manifestation of broad support for Pakistan in the US, as evidenced by its bipartisan, bicameral, unanimous passage in Congress,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement.

Gibbs said that the new law was based on a shared commitment to improving living conditions in Pakistan, strengthening democracy and the rule of law, and combating extremism that threatens both Pakistan and the United States.

Obama’s move came after days of drama over the package, which saw Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi rush to Washington after the country’s powerful Army opposed to certain conditions of the legislation.

The bill lays down a programme for US$ 7.5 billion non-military aid to Pakistan over the next five years, tripling the US aid to the country.