No interruption in civilian aid to Pak post Nov 26

Washington: The US has not interrupted civilian aid to Pakistan after the "tragic" November 26 incident, in which 24 soldiers from that country were killed in a NATO cross border fire, the State Department has said.

"Civilian assistance to Pakistan continues and has not been interrupted since the tragic November 26 incident," the State Department said in an email statement responding to the question asked in this regard on Friday.

In the November 26 incident 24 Pakistan soldiers were killed in a NATO cross border fire, which resulted in furious reaction from Islamabad including closing of the crucial supply route to Afghanistan.

Since the passage of the Kerry-Lugar-Berman legislation in October 2009, the US government has disbursed USD 2.2 billion in civilian assistance, including approximately USD 550 million in emergency humanitarian assistance, the State Department said.

"The United States remains committed to a strong, mutually respectful relationship with Pakistan," it said.

"We consider bilateral US civilian assistance to be an important component of that relationship and believe it can help Pakistan become a more prosperous, stable, and democratic state, which serves the national interests of both the United States and Pakistan," the State Department said.

In financial year 2011, the United States disbursed approximately USD 855 million (not including any emergency humanitarian assistance) to Pakistan.

"Our non-humanitarian civilian assistance funds are spent in five priority sectors: energy, economic growth, stabilisation of the border regions, education, and health.

Notably, in 2011 the people of United States supported the construction of 210 kilometres of road in FATA and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, funded the world`s largest Fulbright exchange programme, and sponsored initiatives promoting private sector growth and civil society development in Pakistan," the State Department added.