A government minister said Monday Pakistan would stop paying interest on U.S. loans if the United States did not restore its economic and military aid to Islamabad.

Interior Minister Zahid Sarfraz told a news conference a recent cutoff in U.S. aid had left Pakistan with only two options - to let its people starve or stop paying interest."Since we will not starve our people, we will stop the interest," he said.

The aid cut of more than $560 million was triggered Oct. 1 when President Bush failed to certify to the U.S. Congress that Pakistan did not possess nuclear weapons.

Pakistan has repeatedly denied reports in the West that it is making a nuclear bomb, saying its nuclear program is for the peaceful purpose of producing energy.