Pelosi Questions U.S. Aid To Pakistan

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is calling for an international investigation into the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and she raised the possibility that Congress may try to hold up additional financial and military support for the Musharraf government unless the Bush administration can show that a credible probe has been conducted into Bhutto's death. Pakistan has received an estimated $10 billion in American aid since the 9/11 attacks, although recent media reports have questioned how the aid is being spent.

"The 9/11 Commission recommendations, which were signed into law this year, condition U.S. assistance to Pakistan on Pakistani cooperation with global efforts against terrorism," Pelosi said in a statement released by her office on Saturday. "The refusal by the Musharraf government to accept international assistance with the investigation of the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and recent reports that previous U.S. aid to Pakistan has been misspent, raise troubling questions about whether those conditions are being met."

Pelosi added: "These questions must be addressed by the Bush Administration before any additional U.S. aid is sent to the Musharraf government. There must be an international investigation of this despicable crime. And the Bush Administration must continue to press the Pakistani government to ensure that the coming election is free and fair."