Britain's aid to Pakistan under scanner over corruption charges

Last Updated: Sun, Jan 06, 2013 05:22 hrs

London: Part of Britain's 1.2 billion pounds aid given to Pakistan has been called into question amid fears of corruption.

Muslim peer Lord Ahmed is among those who have demanded answers over the three-year package.

Concern centers on a 20-million pounds 'media campaign' contract have highlighted the need for better schools in Pakistan, the Sun reports.

The contract 'awarded without any tendering' went to the Geo/Jang media group, which has been accused of charging rivals high rates to show the educational advertising.

According to the report, many TV stations and newspapers are now not publishing the campaign so that the ad aimed at 'poor people' does not see it.

A senior Pakistan media source said that the campaign is worthy, but the message is not getting to those who need it.

The deal originally went to a foundation set up in honour of Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman, the late owner of Geo/Jang.

It then sub-contracted it to the media group, now run by Rahman's son.

Lord Ahmed has raised questions in the Lords about the link between the foundation and Geo/Jang.

The Department for International Development only said that UK aid watchdogs had praised its approach towards helping education in Pakistan, the report added. 

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