US set to release $1.6 billion to Pakistan: Report

Published: October 19, 2013

US funds will be released in 2014 and will be disbursed over a number of years. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

WASHINGTON: As prime minister Nawaz Sharif heads to Washington, US has decided to release more than $1.6 billion to Pakistan in military and economic aid, suspended since relations between the two countries went downhill in 2011, the Associated Press reported on Saturday.

Relations between Pakistan and US had soured after the latter unilaterally conducted a raid in Abbottabad to kill Osama bin Laden and then a attack on the Salala border checkpost following which Pakistan blocked US Nato supplies through its territory. However, after a brief freeze, relations have thawed.

On Friday, the State Bank of Pakistan confirmed it had received a $322 million payment from US under the Coalition Support Fund.

According to the Associated Press, US officials and congressional aides stated ties have improved enough to allow the money to flow again.

The thaw in relations has seen US and Pakistan restart of their “strategic dialogue” after a long pause.

Congress has cleared most of the money, and it should start moving early next year, officials and congressional aides said.

According to the report, State Department and the US Agency for International Development  had informed US Congress over three weeks in July and August about plans to restart assistance to Pakistan.

Most of the funds will be dedicated to helping Pakistan fight terrorism. Other funds focus on a range of items, including help for law enforcement and a multibillion-dollar dam in disputed territory.

The State Department told Congress that the US hadn’t conducted any significant military financing for Pakistan since the “challenging and rapidly changing period of U.S.-Pakistan relations” in 2011 and 2012. The department stressed the importance now of enhancing Pakistan’s anti-terrorism capabilities through better communications, night vision capabilities, maritime security and precision striking with F-16 fighter jets.

The department told Congress on July 25 that it would spend $295 million to help Pakistan’s military. Twelve days later it announced $386 million more. A pair of notifications arriving on August 13 worth $705 million centered on helping Pakistani troops and air forces operating in the militant hotbeds of western Pakistan, and other counterinsurgency efforts.

The administration had until the end of September to provide Congress with “reprogramming” plans at the risk of forfeiting some of the money, which spans federal budgets from 2009-2013.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorised to talk about it publicly, said the money would start reaching Pakistan in 2014 but take several years to disburse fully.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee has cleared all of the notifications. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is reviewing a $280 million chunk of military financing, Senate aides said. Aides spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorised to talk publicly on the matter, either.

“The committee held up the projects to get more information and express concerns,” said the office of Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., the House panel’s chairman. “Though they went forward, the committee continues its close oversight.”

Among the economic aid programs included in the US package, support for the Diamer-Basha dam near Pakistan’s unresolved border with India has the potential for controversy and tremendous benefit.

Pakistan’s government has been unable to secure money for the project from the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank is waiting to hear from the United States and India before providing financing to help construction. The dam faces massive funding shortfalls.

In its July 24 notification to Congress, USAID said the project could cost up to $15 billion and take a decade to complete. The agency promised only to provide “financial and technical assistance” for studies, including on environmental and social aspects, while expressing hope the dam could be transformative for a country with chronic power shortages. State Department officials put the bill for the studies at $20 million.

If the dam were ultimately built, USAID wrote, it could provide electricity for 60 million people and 1 million acres of crop land, and provide a ready supply of water for millions more. It noted that Pakistani officials have sought American support at the “highest levels.”

Despite amounting to just a small portion of the overall US aid package, congressional aides said Pakistan’s government has lobbied particularly hard for the dam money to be unlocked.

Pakistan’s embassy in Washington refused to comment on the aid or say if Sharif would bring up any specific programs in talks at the White House.

Reader Comments (60)

  • Max Robin
    Oct 19, 2013 - 9:03PM

    Don’t give these ungrateful creatures anything. No matter what you try, this delusional nation will continue to blame you for its own inadequacies.

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  • Lahori
    Oct 19, 2013 - 9:07PM

    We live in the 18th century. Even medium sized international companies earn more net income than $1.6 billion.

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  • Uzair Malik
    Oct 19, 2013 - 9:15PM

    When will you ffs stop taking aids? It is utter embarrassment that I belong to a country that relies on funding to run itself instead of bringing the much needed reforms…there is no explanation/justification for accepting this big amount. When will these knob heads understand this simple theory?? Stop taking aid!!! Strengthen your faith and you won’t rely on aid packages!!
    ET: For heaven sake publish this if at least you consider yourself/are independent!

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  • Guru
    Oct 19, 2013 - 9:20PM

    Enjoy 1.6 billion and in return expect more drone attacks.Americans paying the tips in advance.

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  • ks
    Oct 19, 2013 - 9:26PM

    Long live America. Love ya.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Oct 19, 2013 - 9:38PM

    It would be great if US could help Pakistanis in taxing landlords of Pakistan, because Pakistani Govt is unable to take initiative on this as mostly these landlords are sitting in cabinets.

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  • aqib
    Oct 19, 2013 - 9:46PM

    The shackles of slavery, not likely to be broken.

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Oct 19, 2013 - 9:52PM

    Hypocrites and those who live on donations don’t care about country’s future. They won’t be happy but we need American support. Thank you..

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  • Lal
    Oct 19, 2013 - 10:15PM

    It is a total surprise for what reason america through money on drain in which the majority of the countries population hate them a lot and no trust.

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  • Raj - USA
    Oct 19, 2013 - 10:20PM

    No Problem. We will give you lot of Moola but we want some Mullas.

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  • bangash
    Oct 19, 2013 - 10:23PM

    US paying premium rent to Pakistan.

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  • Pakk
    Oct 19, 2013 - 10:26PM

    Who are we … Pakistani’s
    What do we want … DOLLARS !

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  • Pakistani bloach
    Oct 19, 2013 - 10:40PM

    its a shame for the whole nation of pakistan that we are living on aid. we pakistanis living abroad can donate money for dam nd it wont take years but days to reach in government account if our leaders were sincere with pakistan. 500 dollars from each pakistani living abroad can solve this problem but we only trust imran khan. now this wont get published because i mentioned imran khan.

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  • TUNG
    Oct 19, 2013 - 10:50PM

    @Max Robin: shut up ok!! l know you are doing the drone attacks on our country!

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  • Ordinary Pakistani
    Oct 19, 2013 - 10:55PM

    Thank you America, we appreciate your help.

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  • Oct 19, 2013 - 11:02PM

    please reject aid as prime minister Mr.Nawaz.Sharif earlier stated .
    But please note that this is not aid as if Pakistan did not give transit to its road network
    which was destroyed by transporting heavy armour through its roads which is far more
    than this amount promised to be paid.Please also note that Pakistan is daily suffering loss
    of enormous resources and its men every day due to the war not related to us but was imposed on us and we are also suffering due to our corrupt people.
    If America helps us in this hour of need,we shall be thankful to USA as we need its support
    in this critical period as USA should keep in mind how much we lost. It is not its true replacement but it will certainly help us in the need of hour.Thank you USA again.

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  • Oct 19, 2013 - 11:05PM

    thank you America

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  • Adil
    Oct 19, 2013 - 11:24PM

    It is embarrassing to say the least. Our economy, infrastructure, education system, our international standing are all declining. We live month to month by being a rental state circulating the begging bowl.

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  • ali ahmed
    Oct 19, 2013 - 11:34PM

    drop some drones on the corrupt ruler …

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  • unbelievable
    Oct 19, 2013 - 11:43PM

    @Lahori:

    We live in the 18th century. Even
    medium sized international companies
    earn more net income than $1.6
    billion.

    A simple “thank you” would be appropriate – if that sticks in your throat then don’t accept the money.

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  • Indi.pendant
    Oct 19, 2013 - 11:54PM

    Trade not aid should be the motto. But US being the most Indebted nation in the world with a record 17 trillion USD, more than the GDP of the nation, and the economy falling apart and just having a government shutdown, it is just not prudent to seek any aid from US, or from anywhere else. Aid never translates into economic recovery and most of the aid goes back to the donor countries in the form of services and imports.

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  • Uzair Malik
    Oct 20, 2013 - 12:20AM

    @max robin: God if I was the pm of pak, I would tell your govt. we don’t want your money, we don’t want your aid, we will solve our issues our own way.
    Beggars are choosers! You would certainly want to drone us via this aid!! The damage to our economy has been $100 bn while the aid has been $30 bn…I hope you can do the rest of the maths.

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  • ABK
    Oct 20, 2013 - 12:25AM

    After Zardari now its turn of Sharifs to enjoy the free dollars….

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  • objective observer
    Oct 20, 2013 - 12:28AM

    You support terrorism against Afghanistan, its not rocket science. You would be enjoying a regional economic boom by now.

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  • truthbetold
    Oct 20, 2013 - 12:36AM

    “Most of the funds will be dedicated to helping Pakistan fight terrorism.”

    There! The same old, the same old, the money therefore goes to the military that will promptly use the money to fill the pockets of the generals and buy more anti-India weaponry such as missiles, fighter jets, radars, tanks etc. that will be of no use against the real terrorists that the army is supposed to be fighting against.

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  • Lahori
    Oct 20, 2013 - 12:56AM

    @unbelievable:

    Wow. It is a bit difficult to guess how many different directions a written comment could take. My comment was not supposed to be anti US or to belittle the aid. I was actually thinking that if Pakistan had a thriving economy (which unfortunately is not the case) then this amount of money would be peanuts.

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  • B
    Oct 20, 2013 - 1:08AM

    USA sure knows how to abuse Pakistan by giving aid.

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  • Mc
    Oct 20, 2013 - 1:16AM

    @TUNG:
    Since when has US droned China (going by your name)

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  • Pops
    Oct 20, 2013 - 1:34AM

    I thought America was broke. Government departments were shut down as they had no money to pay them. Most of this money will be channeled towards the Pak army.

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  • Oct 20, 2013 - 1:40AM

    Yes America is giving Pakistan more money – the simple thing we can say is THANK YOU!

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  • Eric Kumar
    Oct 20, 2013 - 2:03AM

    USA is not stupid. They want to give you fish and don’t want to teach how to catch one. Pakistan has a big begging bowl.

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  • Uzair Malik
    Oct 20, 2013 - 2:37AM

    @munir, @ks and @ordinary pak,

    Thanks for what?? For recognition at the international level of being beggars?? Shame on you!! Nothing comes for free, there’s a price for everything. God knows what follows this: $1.6 bn of aid probably followed by $16 bn of destruction and backlash!!!

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  • TUNG
    Oct 20, 2013 - 3:07AM

    @Mc: so you think i am chinese!thats a LOL! anyways i was blaming max for everything!sarcasm maybe!:))

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  • vaticancity
    Oct 20, 2013 - 3:14AM

    Great news, some of those funds will be gladly used for foreign trips abroad shopping as well as visiting religious sites and the standard weaponry purchases. Just see it as a sundry tip for assistance given for many causes.

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  • smbfhs
    Oct 20, 2013 - 3:29AM

    @Lahori:
    @Max Robin:
    @unbelievable:
    Getting from $300m from U.S to now a $billion a year was and is peoples’ money. U.S. Citizen are very skeptical about how their taxes are being used. It’s not simple beggary money, but instead they want you to work on your economy, education and infrastructure. Pak expatriots should be respected more now for injecting that much money in a month into grassroots of Pak economy…from bottom-up. Indians should not feel bad or left out. You guys took all U.S. jobs transfered to India and get opened all the markets for your goods and serviced for sleeping with U.S for last 20years.

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  • Shamim
    Oct 20, 2013 - 3:52AM

    US explored with Double standard if they are sincere with Pakistan then why not sign Civil Atomic Energy like India. but they adopt the policy of ” Stick and Carrot” with us All Economy badly hit by US due to made us a front line state in war on terrorism. Now it is his responsibility to establish our economy but they given us few dollar as Aid but we need Trade

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  • Zen.one
    Oct 20, 2013 - 4:04AM

    India has taken a cue from Pakistan and now stands in the queue to get aid from World Bank and ADB. Old habits die hard. Getting rid of aid and aiding poor countries seems to be just the hoopla created by the government to give the nation a superficial and farce sense of achieving the economic miracle.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/opinions/20860468.cms

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  • Ali (Texas)
    Oct 20, 2013 - 4:21AM

    how about telling us where this money is going?….

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  • Ussama Yaqub
    Oct 20, 2013 - 4:23AM

    @ Uzair Malik

    The damage to our economy has been $100 bn while the aid has been $30 bn

    We have a habit of pulling these exaggerated numbers from God knows where. After 2010 floods PM Gillani claimed that the damage to our infrastructure has been $ 48 billion! My question is, What infrastructure? No one in their right minds can believe that the government had invested that much in south Punjab and Sindh. Maybe in the fudged financial books they show to IMF and World Bank.

    Similarly, I don’t know where this magical $100 Bn damage to economy keeps coming up! With corrupt leaders and gangster organizations ruling the financial centers of the country, our economy is screwed anyways.

    But it’s good to keep well rounded numbers like these at the top of mind, helps to get more aid in the future while keeping us oblivious from the harsh reality that we are a poor, underdeveloped, 3rd world country with a pathetic GDP, an appalling per capita income and a ridiculous attitude. Recommend

  • Average Pakistani
    Oct 20, 2013 - 4:44AM

    @truthbetold:
    Quick question why India is building illegal dams on Pakistani water?

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  • KBK42
    Oct 20, 2013 - 6:27AM

    @Adil:
    Pakistan should stop waging wars against India which It can’t afford and should think 100 years ahead. It should make friendship with India, get rid of its obsession with Kashmir, follow meticulously all terms of the friendship agreement (no stabbing in the back), deliver what it promises & live happily ever after.
    But for this, Pakistani Civil Govt. must have total mastery over its Khaki Brigades & its Mullah Brigades! Impossible!!

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  • Hafiz
    Oct 20, 2013 - 8:58AM

    still beggar will be beggar.

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  • Armaan
    Oct 20, 2013 - 9:29AM

    coool…..beggar will be beggar no matter how expensive suit or watches you make them wear… sharif now its a chance to buy properties in london dubai paris and washington….

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  • Oct 20, 2013 - 10:32AM

    @Uzair Malik: Why blame Max Robin. Our country will either remain in this limbo of indecision or sink deeper into the morass of a gooey, stinky, sticky political and economic bog that is filled with racial hatred, land, gun, and drug, mafia, and corruption remaining at its climax. My apologies Uzair, but we are to blame. Salams

    @aqib: Unless the PPP, PMLN are not exterminated, and land ownership not rationalized, the shackles of slavery will remain. Salams

    @Max Robin: Thank you for the realization and recognition. We are a thankless nation living on screwed up notions and emotions. Salams

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  • Oct 20, 2013 - 11:07AM

    US is delusional and even downright stupid to give Pakistan this much of money. Americans think dollars will make Pakistan fight the Taliban and variety of other Terror groups, including anti-India and anti-American one. This money will go down the drain.

    What should happen is this money should be given over a period of 3 years, so that once the 2014 withdrawal is over, US can stop the payment.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Oct 20, 2013 - 11:11AM

    @BruteForce:
    Indians are definitely not happy when Pakistanis do or get something good

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  • Aschraful Makhlooq
    Oct 20, 2013 - 11:58AM

    $ I.6 billions aid means even definitely proves that
    1-do more against the TTP in Pakistani tribal areas instead of peace talks,
    2-more continuously drones’ strikes and
    3-more slavery…….

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  • genesis
    Oct 20, 2013 - 5:02PM

    At last some juice is flowing down the IV drip lines

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  • joy
    Oct 20, 2013 - 5:58PM

    @ :Guru: just want to share what I read somewhere long time ago….The word tip was the short form of the sentence..” to insure promptness” , and it was paid in advance for quick service at restaurants

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  • optimist
    Oct 20, 2013 - 6:49PM

    Dear US,
    .
    STOP giving aid… it doesn’t reach us anyway!!
    .
    Pakistani GDP is $240 Billion and your $1.6 billion (promised and often delayed by YEARS) is not even one per cent of our economy!
    .
    And when I see mostly it is for military, it is obvious it is not for us (people). If all of this money was for IT education and health, I would have saluted you!!
    .
    As per Dr Atta ur Rehman (ex Minister), western nations don’t give aid for Engineering education as they know it will stop dependence on them!

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  • antanu
    Oct 20, 2013 - 7:32PM

    @Max Robin:
    and why not..? US takes back in multi-fold against what it gives to others. 20 BILLIONS TO Pakistanis in 10 years….and Pakistanis lost 70 Billions with 50000 Lives in that period.
    Further, You are not MAX ROBIN….a US or Europian citizen is not interested in Pakistan…so why not disclose your true identitiy…which is more than obvious?

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  • powvow
    Oct 20, 2013 - 8:53PM

    @Pops – “I thought America was broke. Government departments were shut down as they had no money to pay them.

    America will definitely go broke tomorrow, if not today, while funding this nation of deliquents.

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  • unbelievable
    Oct 20, 2013 - 10:04PM

    @BruteForce:

    What should happen is this money
    should be given over a period of 3
    years, so that once the 2014
    withdrawal is over, US can stop the
    payment.

    Payments are spread out over a number of years and start in 2014 – pretty much a guarantee that if Pakistan doesn’t hold up to it’s promises to help in the withdrawal the funds won’t be forthcoming. American’s maybe naive but when it comes to Pakistan there trust level is pretty close to zero.

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  • LameDuck!
    Oct 20, 2013 - 10:24PM

    @Hafiz:
    @smbfhs:
    @Average Pakistani:
    @Armaan:
    @BruteForce:
    @Pakistani:
    @powvow: And all other similar cookie-cutter comments…lol man! This is so much smoke I wish I could start a fumigation business, lol! Better yet, so much Smog is bad for a car driver and his health. For a moment I thought I forgot Chicken in the BBQ pit. That when I realized lot of people are smoking over here, lol!

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  • Indra
    Oct 20, 2013 - 10:25PM

    Coolie work(logistics) for the U.S, Sentry watch for the Chinese. Pakistan is number one mercenary nation. We wanttta Sheperate, we are Arabs..lol

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  • truthbetold
    Oct 21, 2013 - 12:30AM

    @Average Pakistani:

    “Quick question why India is building illegal dams on Pakistani water?”

    I am not sure what connection that question has with the current topic. Anyhow, India is building dams in its integral territory, that has been part of its ancient land for over 6000 years.

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  • Average Pakistani
    Oct 21, 2013 - 1:36AM

    @truthbetold:
    No matter where it is being built but intentions of “secular” India that was born on 15th August 1947 are very clear towards agricultural land of Pakistan.

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  • Rex Minor
    Oct 21, 2013 - 3:08PM

    @optimist:

    good thinking. Now you guys are learning; the USA (not the WEST) simply prints the Bank Notes which cost them few dimes and call it AID to promote their political hegemony and the sale of their goods from the American manufacturers. This will stop as soon as dollar is no longer the RESERVE CURRENCY in foreign countries including China. India is reported to convedrt its reserves into GOlD.

    Rex Minor .

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  • 5000Years!
    Oct 29, 2013 - 7:27PM

    @truthbetold: Wake-up! It’s way beyond 5000bc now.

    Actually the graves of the people of that time are in Pakistan in Harrapa, MohenjoDaro, Taxila and many more places along River Indus. Actually the throne of Buddha and the Emperor Ashoka is In Pakistan too…ie, in Swat & Taxila respectively. So what you got to say? The Name Hindustan was derived from Pak River Indus…just to wake you up buddy!

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  • Nov 29, 2013 - 6:21PM

    Dear sir I m a Chairman of “KHURSHIDA BEGUMM WELFARE TRUST” . The sole object of our trust is to provide free of cost Food,Clothes,Medicines,Sewing Machines for women, Free of cost Ambulance services to people of Different areas of Pakistan. Donate us Class 1-5 Books for orphans, Medicines, Wheel chairs, Sewing Machines or any food Items or cash. Our Head office is in GHauri Town phase-1 HOuse No. 466, Street NUMBER #22 khanna East Islamabad. Regds SARDAR HAMZA KHAN ADVOCATE HIGH COURT ISLAMABAD. My MObile number is 03349577684

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