US lawmakers debate Pakistan aid, conditions

May 5, 2011 05:37

WASHINGTON - US lawmakers are debating whether they should attach more strings to the billions of dollars in aid they give Pakistan, or cut Islamabad off after Osama bin Laden was found not far from the capital.

Congress has approved $20 billion over the past decade for Pakistan, making it one of the biggest US aid recipients, with about half to reimburse Pakistan for help in fighting extremists.

The latest installment of more than $2 billion in military aid was approved just three weeks ago as part of a budget deal to avert a US government shutdown. Congress also provided for more civilian aid to Pakistan which could top $1 billion.

Some lawmakers are demanding a halt to the aid now that al-Qaida leader bin Laden has been found and killed by US forces in a Pakistani military town, Abbottabad.

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