Washington, Sept. 18 (Reuters): President George W. Bush’s $87 billion war budget includes debt relief and other assistance for Pakistan, a key ally in the war on terrorism which is under US pressure to send troops to Iraq, according to budget documents released yesterday.
Wrapped in with tens of billions of dollars for the US military and Iraq’s reconstruction, Bush asked Congress to allow up to $200 million to be used to provide debt reduction to Pakistan.
The spending plan, which must still be approved by Congress, also sets aside $1.4 billion to “reimburse Pakistan, Jordan and other key cooperating nations” for logistical and military support they provide in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Such support includes transportation into the theatre, providing supplies to coalition forces in the theatre, and helping coalition forces with communication support,” the White House said in its budget documents.
Pakistan became a key ally in the US-led war on terror after the September 11, 2001 attacks. It has been rewarded with about $3 billion in aid and debt write offs since then.
In June, Bush promised another $3 billion package. Washington wants Pakistan to send up to 10,000 troops to Iraq.
The idea was first raised when Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf met Bush at the Camp David presidential retreat in June. Musharraf said then that one of the conditions for any deployment was financing.