Washington: Amidst growing call from lawmakers to strip US aid to the country, Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar will arrive on Tuesday to hold a series of meetings with top US officials including the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

During the Washington-leg of her visit (September 18 to 22), the Foreign Minister is expected to meet the National Security Advisor Tom Donilon and US Trade Representatives Ron Kirk besides addressing Council on Foreign Relations, an eminent Washington-based think tank.

In her meetings, Khar is expected to put forth the Pakistani view point on need of continued aid to her country and brief her US counterpart on the steps being taken by Islamabad in war against terrorism.

On their part, US officials are believed to seek more Pakistani action against terrorist inside the country. However, Khar might have some hard time at the Capitol Hill where she would have a series of meetings with top American lawmakers, including Senator John Kerry, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

On the eve of her arrival, Congressman Ted Poe, introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives to remove the major non-NATO ally status from Pakistan.

"It's time to break with Pakistan, but at the very least, we should stop providing them the eligibility to obtain our own sophisticated weaponry in an expedited process.

"Too many of our own men and women have died because of Islamabad’s treachery," Texas Congressman Poe said after introducing HR 6391, a bill to remove the major non-NATO ally (MNNA) status from Pakistan.

Granted to Pakistan in 2004, by the then-President GeorgeBush, under MNNA status a country is eligible for priority delivery of defense material, an expedited arms sale process, and a US loan guarantee program, which backs up loans issued by private banks to finance arms exports.

It can also stockpile US military hardware, participate in defence research and development programs, and be sold more sophisticated weaponry, said a statement issued by the office of the Republican Congressman.

"Pakistan is the Benedict Arnold nation in the list of countries that we call allies. It's time to remove a designation that brings privileges it does not deserve," said Poe who is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Anti-Terrorism Caucus.

From Washington, Khar would travel to New York where she would join her President, Asif Ali Zardari, for the annual session of the UN General Assembly.



(Agencies)


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