Article published on the 2009-10-07 Latest update 2009-10-07 15:42 TU
A demonstrator jumps over burning tyres during an anti-American rally in Peshawar organised by the Islamic political party Jamaat-e-Islami
The package, known as the Kerry-Lugar Bill, accuses Pakistan "of all the sins under the sun, including cross-border terrorism and nuclear proliferation", according to a statement by Mushahid Hussain, the Secretary General of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q, which led the government under deposed President Pervez Musharraf.
It would mean 7.5 million dollars (five million euros) a year in aid. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani declared the promised financing a "big success" at a meeting of his People's Party (PPP) before the parliamentary debate.
It sets conditions, however, which critics say are unaceptable.
It bans US money being used by people or groups dubbed "extremist" and says it must not be used to attack neighbouring countries, including India, which Pakistan has fought several wars with.
And it stipulates that Islamabad must crack down on armed Islamist groups and allow access to its nationals linked to nuclear-supply networks, such as the "father of the Pakistani bomb", AQ Khan.
"There is a very strong and general impression in Pakistan that the Kerry-Lugar Bill is detrimental to Pakistan's interests and sovereignty," said Siddiqul Farooq of the Pakistan Muslim League-N of ex-premier Nawaz Sharif.
Even senior military commanders have raised "serious concern" and said the army would provide "formal input" to the government on it.
US ambassador Anne W Patterson last week suggested that the US will move to eliminate Taliban leader Mullah Omar, believed to be in Balochistan province, if Pakistan failed to do so.
That led army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to say that attacks by American drones "would not be allowed".
And eyebrows have been raised by US plans to build a huge new embassy, with about 1,000 employees, in Islamabad and open a consulate in the North West Frontier Province capital, Peshawar, which would not issue visas.
After meeting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington on Tuesday, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi tried to calm fears by declaring that Washington has "no intentions of micromanaging Pakistan".
2009-10-05 14:42 TU
2009-09-28 13:33 TU