October 15th, 2009
01:18 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama signs $7.5 billion Pakistan aid bill

Obama signs $7.5 billion Pakistan aid bill.

Obama signs $7.5 billion Pakistan aid bill.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama signed legislation Thursday providing an additional $7.5 billion in assistance to the Pakistani government.

"This law is the tangible manifestation of broad support for Pakistan in the U.S.," the White House said in a written statement.

The act bolsters a partnership "based on a shared commitment to improving the living conditions of the people of Pakistan through sustainable economic development, strengthening democracy and the rule of law, and combating the extremism that threatens Pakistan and the United States," it said.

On Wednesday, the chairmen of the House and Senate committees on foreign relations provided a written explanation of the aid bill, a response to Pakistani complaints that the United States was meddling in its affairs.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman were joined by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi as they spoke to reporters.

Qureshi had rushed back to Washington this week to report on opposition inside the Pakistani Parliament to the five-year package of non-military aid. Some Pakistani politicians claimed the aid bill was an American attempt to micro-manage Pakistan's civilian and military affairs.

"Everyone is on the same page," Kerry said. "We are all clear about the intentions of the legislation."

Kerry argued that the bill "demonstrates the American people have a long-term commitment to the people of Pakistan."

Qureshi replied, "This document, which I think is an historic document, is a step forward in our relationship."

Kerry said the explanatory statement attached to the bill emphasizes that no interference is intended with Pakistan's civilian or military operations.

The statement says the bill establishes a variety of requirements meant to ensure U.S. efficiency and compliance, but places no new conditions on the government of Pakistan.

"The many requirements of this report are intended as a way for Congress to assess how effectively U.S. funds are being spent, shortfalls in U.S. resources that hinder the use of such funds, and steps the government of Pakistan has taken to advance our mutual interests in countering extremism and nuclear proliferation and strengthening democratic institutions," the statement says.

"There is no intent to (establish), and nothing in this act in any way suggests that there should be, any U.S. role in micromanaging internal Pakistani affairs, including the promotion of Pakistani military officers or the internal operations of the Pakistani military."

Berman said the statement is "a reflection of our desire to be long-term partners with the Pakistan people."

–CNN's Charley Keyes contributed to this report.

Filed under: John Kerry • Pakistan • President Obama
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. BestProfitCompany = WAR

    Not good. Especially when we haven't connected the dots on the money trail from the terrorist of 9/11. That money leads to Pakistan's military. Which is not controlled by the government of Pakistan. I don't trust them...

    October 15, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  2. LacrosseMom(stuck in moderation)

    President Obama PLEASE keep our money at home! We need it here, and the Pakistanis do not want it!

    In fact, sir, please end ALL Foreign Aid to : Israel, Japan, etc., etc.

    We could SAVE BILLIONS!

    October 15, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. Ron

    Where is this money coming from? Shouldn't we be getting aid?

    October 15, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  4. Voter disappointed in Obama

    Can we really afford this? Our country needs your help, Mr. President. Fix the economy, bad unemployment at home first. When schools are having to close, teachers laid off, the long list goes on.... how can we afford to make life in Pakistan better when our own country is facing all kinds of problems that NEED the money?

    October 15, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  5. Joe Six

    Continuing the Bush policy of paying off Pakistan. But if we are not buying influence, what are we buying?

    October 15, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Well Pakistan is going to need all the aid they can get because we are not letting up on Predator Drone attacks within their borders. The Pakistani Army finally realizes that extremism is a threat to them as well and it msut be combatted.

    October 15, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. raj

    WOW! What happened to the other 3 BILION dollars given to Pakistan? How can we justify thsi type of money to Pakistan when all we see is nothing. Wake up America. The money making no differrnevce other than makinfg the greedy politicians line their pockets and enabling them to pick fights with their neighbors. If 3 billion dollars couldn't fin Osama what makes you think another 7 will?

    October 15, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  8. Kelvin

    Why are we propping up governments? We do the same for Afghanistan and Israel. Both administrations have a history of doing this, why?! This money could have been used here!

    October 15, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    3,000 dead on 9/11...we spend $1T on an unjustified war destroying Iraq based on false premises and a fabricated link to the perpetrators of the WTC disaster...GOPers cheered

    45,000 dead EVERY YEAR from disease and sickness and trauma treatable if they had insurance...GOPers don't want us to spend one red cent

    Now, we have to listen to GOPers whining about this $7.5B (despite it being the correct strategy to destroy the real perps of 9/11) and claiming it should be spent here first. Well, at least one thing's for certain: their very consistent in their inconsistency.

    October 15, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  10. corey

    utterly ridiculous... this is pretty much payoff money so we can conduct air strikes in their territory as we please.

    the pakis have no control over their own people, and this is basically wasted money...

    October 15, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. DanTheSensibleMan

    This is clearly because Pakistan has been getting pissed about how much aid money we are spending in Afghanistan. If Pakistan wants US hand outs maybe it should like assist us in our war on the Taliban and Al Qaeada by having a much more vissible presence in the North West Frontier Province. You know, instead of complaining about violating their sovereignty every time we try to chase millitants across the border. Pakistan thinks it can just sit back and let the US solve ITS problems while not provoking terrorist attack. They need to realize that the Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda really pose a great threat to the security of their country.

    October 15, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  12. Island girl

    Although I am a supporter of this administrator I must still wonder if the aid is going to bear fruit. Every day (including this one) there is an explosion with deadly consequences.

    October 15, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  13. Fools and their freedoms are soon parted

    How about that much aid to people losing their jobs and houses? Why are we bailing out another country????

    October 15, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. angry american

    Can we please clean up our own neightborhoods before we give billions to everyone else?? I cant stand that folks will go without a thanksgiving dinner this year and they could all be fed by a sum of money just given to a country who will hate us for some ridiculous reason next week. Has anyone seen Detriot lately? Dont they deserve a "commitment to improving the living conditions of the people"??

    October 15, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  15. Kacz

    Here we go again. Another corrupt regime getting 7.5 billion dollars to do with what they see fit. How much of this will go to help the people of Pakistan when the government is already balking at the US as interferring in their "business" of civilian and military rule. They are nothing more than a bunch of ungreatful beggars and should be treated as such.

    October 15, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  16. Thomas

    Giving money to Pakistan will not make them our ally. Let's put some conditions on this money so we can start getting some real cooperation from Pakistan.. .not just the lip service minimum effort we have seen for the past years.

    October 15, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  17. Stacie

    Good. If we ever expect to prevent another safe haven for terrorists, we need a stable Pakistan who works with us.

    October 15, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  18. yuri

    We are antsy that the Pak. Govt. will somehow use at least part of it to weaponize the program, aimin' directly, towards India, based on its nefarious actiions in the past, if history is any guide.

    October 15, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  19. ej in Tacoma

    We can't even pass the much needed health care bill and yet we pledge this amount to a government that hides terrorists. I hope all of this investment in Pakistan pays off. The extremest factions in that region do not want our money all they do is protest in the streets. May God help find peace in that region it is the only hope. No amount of money can bring stability to this turbulent area unless they are willing to give up extremest ways and get rid of the terrorist factions that keep the Pakistani people in their prisons of fear.
    e.j. in Tacoma

    October 15, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  20. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    As long as Pakistan has a nuclear weapon and the Taliban and al Quaeda are a threat , we must protect Israel through any means necessary and this is one of them.

    October 15, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  21. mark

    how about he make a decision as to troop deployments in afghanistan instead of letting down our troops after the deadliest month in course of the war. note the huge increase in military deaths since he has taken office.

    October 15, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    We can send 7 billion dollars to another foreign country who will give most of it to the exact people we are fighting in some so-called necessary war.

    Meanwhile, here, social security recipients get no COLA and unemployment hovers around 10 percent.

    Gotta love our screwed up government and are screwed up country.

    October 15, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  23. Samuel

    Pakistan has never been a faithfull ally, I don't know why we are givingt them our money

    October 15, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  24. not alone

    That money would do us alot more good in the good o'l USA helping the homlessness in this country then propping up a froudulent goverment that is now proven to exist.

    October 15, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  25. KATIE

    Are you kidding me? To hell with them, we need help on our own soil! Why I even bother complaining about this I don't know. But come on now!

    October 15, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
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