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Friday, August 27, 2010

US rejects Altaf’s call for martial law in Pakistan

A State Department spokesman indicated Thursday that the United States would not support a military coup in Pakistan when it rejected MQM leader Altaf Hussain’s call for martial law in the country.

“Pakistan has a civilian government and we think it is the best form of government to take,” Assistant Secretary of State Philip J Crowley said in a one-sentence answer to a question about Altaf’s controversial proposal.Early this week, a Pentagon spokesman too had ruled out supporting any military coup in Pakistan.

He said that US has diverted USD 50 million from its long-term aid package to Pakistan, taking the flood relief assistance to the country to USD 200 million.

“This USD 50 million latest block is money that will be redirected from other priorities under Kerry-Lugar-Berman, including pre-positioning of supplies in Pakistan to be able to more effectively assist the people of Pakistan when the flood waters begin to recede,” Crowley said, adding US will be re-evaluating its projects.

The diversion of fund came after USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah visited flood-hit areas of Pakistan recently.

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