Harry Reid: US Should 'Withhold Judgment' On Aid to Pakistan

The debate in Capitol Hill regarding the future of U.S. financial assistance to Pakistan continues, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) arguing that it is best to “withhold judgment” on aid to the Asian country until the U.S.-Pakistan relationship can be fully re-evaluated.

“Before any money’s going to be asked to be sent to Pakistan, there will be hearings; there will be discussions in the White House. There will be diplomatic activities taking place.” Reid said, as quoted by The Hill.

Reid did not offer any guarantees that the Senate would approve continued support for Pakistani, explaining that he had yet to make a decision on the issue.

Meantime, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who heads the Senate Armed Services Committee, said U.S. economic aid to Pakistan should be suspended if the country continues to support the Haqqani network, a militant group allied with the Afghan Taliban.

Levin did not say what aspect or how much of U.S. economic aid to Pakistan he believes should be cut, Bloomberg notes.

The have been calls for the suspension and re-evaluation of U.S. aid to Pakistan after U.S. elite forces found and killed al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden in a compound near a Pakistani military facility in Abbottabad, a city near the country’s capital, Islamabad. The U.S. Congress appears divided on the issue, as members of both chambers and parties have expressed varying views on the timing and extent of the reduction.

>> US Congress Weighs Cutting Aid to Pakistan

>> After bin Laden’s Death, US Congress in Dilemma: Cut Aid to Pakistan?

Several foreign policy experts, meantime, have warned about the possible long-term consequences of suspending U.S. aid to Pakistan, according to an opinion piece by E. Candace Putnam, the Cyrus Vance Fellow in Diplomatic Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, published on CNN.com.

>> What Would Happen if US Stops Aid to Pakistan?

Read more about U.S. development aid.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.