Pakistan's top military commanders have expressed "serious concern"
over several conditions in an unprecedented $7.5 billion U.S. aid bill.
The generals said Wednesday they are sending civilian officials formal
notice about the military's reservations about some of the bill's
clauses, which they say affect Pakistan's national security and
U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said the aid package has
consultation and monitoring mechanisms that are in no way intended to
"impinge on Pakistan's sovereignty."
Top civilian officials in Pakistan have welcomed the U.S. bill, which would triple non-military aid to the country.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who is in Washington
on an official visit, called the aid an investment in American and
Pakistan's parliament will make the final decision over whether to accept the aid.
Pakistan's military has no formal role in political deliberations, but
its opinions in matters of national security are extremely influential
with lawmakers, who were debating the issue Wednesday.
The Kerry-Lugar bill provides up to $1.5 billion per year for five
years for development, boosting the country's economy and building
state institutions. It also provides funds for training Pakistan's
But it could limit the amount of aid to Pakistan if the United States
believes the country is not making a sustained commitment against
Taliban and al Qaida fighters.
The bill calls for U.S. officials to periodically verify that Pakistan
is trying to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, crack down on
Taliban and al Qaida linked militants and prevent them from plotting
attacks elsewhere. It also calls for verification that Pakistan's
security forces are not subverting the country's political and judicial