Britain urged to reduce Pakistan aid

 01 May 2014 - 0:00

British Prime Minister David Cameron (left) greets Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif in Downing Street, London, Britain yesterday. 

LONDON: British aid to Pakistan should be cut unless there is proof the funds help stop Islamic extremism, a report by lawmakers said yesterday as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited London.
Published just hours before Sharif was to meet British counterpart David Cameron, the international development committee report singled out Pakistan for criticism.
Pakistan is the largest recipient of bilateral British aid, with Islamabad set to receive £446m  of assistance this year.
“It is unlikely that expenditure would be so high if the country were not having to confront Islamic extremism,” the report said.
“If this is the case, the budget can only be justified if there is clear evidence that DFID (Department for International Development) support is effective in reducing the extremist threat.
“If not, we recommend that DFID consider reducing spending in Pakistan and increasing it in low-income countries.”    
The British lawmakers also said that aid should not be increased until Pakistani political leaders pay their fair share of tax, and increase tax collection generally.