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Pak unhappy with US terror legislation
The Rediff News Bureau | July 31, 2007 17:15 IST
Last Updated: July 31, 2007 17:18 IST
Ever since Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf [Images] did the famous U-turn in the fight against terror after the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States, doubts have been expressed, in a muted manner at first and slowly picking up momentum -- about his country's commitment to combating terror, particularly its ambivalence towards Al Qaeda [Images] and Taliban elements that remained in Pakistan.
The legislation tying aid to Pakistan to its performance against terror was part of a major bill passed by US Congress last week to implement many recommendations of the September 11 commission.
President George Bush [Images] is expected to sign the bill.
Conveying his government's disappointment at the bill, Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz told the Washington Post that his country would do what it takes to eliminate extremists for its own sake, and not because of mounting pressure from the US.
The restrictions on Pakistan in the wake of scepticism in Washington, DC, over Islamabad's commitment to take on the Al Qaeda and Taliban elements.
The concern is not misplaced: since 2001 Pakistan has received over $10 billion in US aid.
"This is a country where both the president and prime minister have been victims of terrorist attacks," Aziz told the Post. "We don't need to be told everyday that we should do this. We are committed ourselves."
Officials in Pakistan too have also criticised the American move since they feel it reinforces the widespread Pakistani belief that their government acts on America's whims and fancies.