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MENAFN - Arab News - 01/05/2014
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(MENAFN - Arab News) London: british aid to pakistan should be cut unless there is proof the funds help stop extremism a report by lawmakers said wednesday 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 446 million (750 million 541 million euros) of assistance this year.

'it is unlikely that expenditure would be so high if the country were not having to confront 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."

sharif's visit will also focus on the enhanced strategic dialogue (esd) which had been initiated in 2011. the esd identfies five strands of cooperation which include: trade and business relations financial macro-economic stabilization and development cooperation; education and health; defense and security and lastly cultural cooperation.

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.

islamabad said sharif would discuss 'matters of mutual interest" with cameron and other ministers during his three-day visit as well as addressing an investment conference.

but sharif's talks with cameron are set to focus on the threat of extremism in pakistan where authorities are in talks with the taleban to try to end a seven-year insurgency.

since the taleban began their campaign of violence in 2007 more than 6800 people have been killed in bomb and gun attacks around pakistan according to an afp tally.

nato countries including britain also want pakistan to help tackle the taleban in neighboring afghanistan as foreign troops prepare to leave by the end of this year.


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