The U.S. has halted funding for a Pakistani version of Sesame Street amid allegations of financial mismanagement by a local organization that co-developed the project. U.S. Embassy spokesman Robert Raines said the U.S. Agency for International Development terminated funding for the program but declined to provide further details, the Associated Press reports. The show was jointly developed by the Rafi Peer Theater Workshop in Pakistan and Sesame Workshop, creator of the American series. The show, which included Elmo and several new Pakistani characters, was aimed at improving education in the country and increasing tolerance. The Pakistan Today newspaper reported there were “severe” financial irregularities at Rafi Peer, citing unnamed sources close to the project, according to the AP. The show’s stars include 6-year-old Rani, who loves cricket and Pakistani music, and her 5-year-old sidekick Munna. Other characters include a singing donkey named Baily and Haseen O Jameel, a crocodile who lives at the bottom of a well. Rafi Peer is seeking alternative funding to continue the project.
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