UK MPs committee to investigate £302 million aid given to Sharif government in Pakistan

UK MPs committee to investigate £302 million aid given to Sharif government in Pakistan

LONDON: The International Development Committee (IDC) of the British Parliament has re-launched an inquiryto assess the effectiveness of its government’s development policy towards the country and investigate the £302 million aid given to Pakistan by the United Kingdom.

The inquiry will be conducted by the parliamentary select committee responsible for scrutiny of UK aid, which is made of MPs from different parties.

The UK’s aid to Pakistan came under focus after the Daily Mail published an article in 2019 alleging that "millions” of UK taxpayers’ money was stolen by former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif and his family. The PML-N leader is already suing the paper and contesting the claim as "baseless".

Pakistan has been part of the Department for International Development's (DFID) largest country programme for the last five years and has received around £302 million in 2019/20.

During 2018 and 2019, the UK aid to Pakistan saw 53% spent on human development (including health and education), 29% on economic development, 10% on governance and security, 5% on climate and the environment and 3% on humanitarian aid.

The British MPs have invited written submissions by April 1 to assess the impact of the UK aid to Pakistan.

The MPs will investigate whether UK's strategic aims for its Pakistan programme are clear and appropriate and if other aspects of the UK-Pakistan relationship are coherent and well-coordinated with the aid programme and its aims and objectives. They will check to what extent is UK aid spending in Pakistan integrated, coordinated and responsive to the priorities and commitments of the Pakistan government.

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