The White House says President Barack Obama has signed a bill that gives $7 billion in aid to Pakistan over five years.

Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009 - popular as Kerry-Lugar Bill - signed by the US President Thursday before the expiry of the mandatory 10 days time after it being sent to him, White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters during his daily press briefing.

Gibbs said that by signing the bill Obama "wants to help the people of Pakistan and the democratic government of the country."

The aid package signed Thursday provides $1.5 billion annually for as a "tangible manifestation" economic and social programs as the Obama administration works to shore up Pakistan's return to civilian rule and to encourage it in the fight against Taliban and al-Qaida militants.

The US Congress yesterday issued an "explanatory statement" in an effort to placate the concerns of Pakistan on the aid bill which says that the legislation does not seek in any way to compromise Islamabad's sovereignty and impinge on its security interests.

The bill was not changed before Obama signed it. Democratic Sen. John Kerry and Democratic Rep. Howard Berman, however, did provide an unusual written statement to accompany the bill that states that "any interpretation of this act which suggests that the United States does not fully recognize and respect the sovereignty of Pakistan would be directly contrary to congressional intent."

The congressional statement says that no conditions are placed on the nonmilitary aid.

The legislation requires the U.S. Secretary of State to report to Congress every six months on whether Pakistan's civilian government maintains effective control over the military's budgets, chain of command and top promotions.

The statement said the bill's requirements are "accountability measures" placed on the United States to ensure that the aid directly benefits the Pakistani people. It said that the bill does not seek to micromanage Pakistani military or civilian affairs, "including the promotion of Pakistani military officers or the internal operations of the Pakistani military."

Ary News