Civilian aid is “an important component” of the “strong, mutually respectful relationship” the United States is committed to maintain with Pakistan, U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said in a statement released Jan. 20. She added that education, health, economic growth and stabilization of border regions are among U.S. priority areas in the Asian country.
“Civilian assistance to Pakistan continues and has not been interrupted since the tragic Nov. 26 incident,” Nuland said, referring to the U.S. airstrike last year that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
The incident further strained U.S.-Pakistan relations, which have been tenuous since the U.S. raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani military town in May 2011. The U.S. Congress has repeatedly called for thorough reviews of U.S. aid to Pakistan while a Pakistani parliamentary committee is examining the country’s ties with the United States.
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