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UK urged to cut Pak aid to stop extremism

LONDON, April 30, (AFP): British aid to Pakistan should be cut unless there is proof the funds help stop Islamic 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 Islamic extremism,” the report said.

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.

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