State Department officials said yesterday they do not anticipate sending any legislation to Congress "in the near future" requesting economic and military assistance to Pakistan.
Under Secretary of State Matthew Nimetz told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee yesterday that the United States is "not going to push our aid on anyone." Nimetz was responding to questions from Subcommittee Chairman Sen. Jake Garn (R-Utah) about Pakistani President Mohammed Zia ul-Haq's assertion that his country was no longer interested in the U.S. aid offer of some $40 million, made by the Carter administration in the wake of the Soviet Union's invasion of neighboring Afghanistan.
Asked to assess the Pakistani statements, Nimetz said he didn't want to speculate on their motives. To the extent, he said, that Pakistan can meet its security needs elsewhere, "that is their decision," but the United States "firmly supports" Pakistan's security.
Pakistan's lack of interest in the two-year aid package was voiced in an Islamabad speech Wednesday by Zia's foreign affairs adviser, Agha Shahi, who said it would not be "prudent" for Pakistan "to be dependent for our security on any single power."
Acceptance of U.S. aid, he added, would threaten Pakistan's nonaligned status and its links to the Islamic world.