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The American version of “Sesame Street” first aired in 1969, and the U.S. government has worked with the company since then to produce shows in about 20 foreign countries, including Muslim nations like Bangladesh and Indonesia.

Sesame Workshop, the creator of the American series, said it was dismayed to hear about the corruption allegations against Rafi Peer and noted that it received separate funding from USAID for its work on the Pakistani show.

“It is our hope that the achievements of Sim Sim Hamara, and the gains we have made in the lives of children in Pakistan, will carry on,” it said in a statement.

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Associated Press writer Matthew Lee contributed to this report from Washington.