US not to keep up aid to Pakistan without change: Clinton

Published: June 24, 2011

She stressed it was time for the US and Pakistan to ensure their interests and actions are aligned. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON: 

In the filled-to-capacity room at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was subjected to a barrage of questions about Afghanistan and Pakistan at the hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Held barely 12 hours after US President Barack Obama announced his plans to withdraw 10,000 US troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year, Secretary Clinton was pressed on the new most important issue: Pakistan.

Secretary Clinton, who described the US-Pakistan relationship as frustrating, said that they were not stepping back from the relationship. But she also said that the US is not prepared to continue the same levels of military aid to Pakistan, unless it sees some changes in the relationship.

“When it comes to our military aid, we are not prepared to continue providing that at the pace we were providing it unless and until we see some steps taken,” Clinton said. She didn’t specify the steps, but stressed it was time for the US and Pakistan to ensure their interests and actions are aligned.

In her opening remarks, she said: “We cannot walk away from this relationship and ignore the consequences, for all the reasons that Senator Richard Lugar outlined in his opening statement: Pakistan is a nuclear-armed state sitting at the crossroads of a strategic region. And we have seen this movie before. We have seen the cost of disengaging from the region. As [US Defence] Secretary Robert Gates, who was there at that time, has stressed, we cannot repeat the mistakes of 1989.”

In response to a question from a senator, Clinton said, “We have to engage, work with and continue to influence Pakistani behaviour”. However, said Secretary Clinton, the US cannot solve all of Pakistan’s problems.

On Afghanistan, Secretary Clinton said that the military, diplomatic and development surge has worked. She added that the cost of one year of civilian aid in Afghanistan was equal to 10 days of war.

In her responses vis a vis Pakistan’s stance on Afghanistan, Clinton said that Pakistan wants strategic depth in Afghanistan, and an Afghanistan that did not pose a threat to Islamabad. “Pakistan does not want Afghanistan to become a satellite of India”.

Clinton also underscored the importance of Pakistan’s role at the table for reconciliation in Afghanistan, and the role of other neighbours. (With additional input from Reuters)

Published in The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2011.


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Reader Comments (49)

  • Javed
    Jun 23, 2011 - 10:07PM

    Clinton, you’ve cost us more billions than you can ever hope to pay. So please don’t give your shiny billions and take your CIA & Blackwater goons out of Pakistan. And this deal would be acceptable to every Pakistani.Recommend

  • Cautious
    Jun 23, 2011 - 10:11PM

    Well it’s nice to see the USA govt using common sense for a change — why give money to people who don’t like you – provide protection to your enemies – and who seem incapable of telling the truth.Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Jun 23, 2011 - 10:18PM

    Say Goodbye to the freebies, time for reality check for Pak Army !!!!!!
    NO MORE MILITARY AID!!! Learn to earn it by showing actions Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jun 23, 2011 - 11:36PM

    There was a function of locals and Pakistani Americans last year, while raising money for the flood victims in Pakistan. A US congressman John Tierney was a donor/guest there as well. John had been the chairman of south Asian subcommittee in the US congress. In his speech he said “in Bush’s 8 years we have given 15 billion dollars to Pakistan, half went to the military and half went to Musharraf”. There were several hundred people there and they were the witness. In fact many of us have demanded the congressman to give only economical aid and that too in the form of goods and not cash.
    Pakistan has more than enough soldiers and weapons to fight the terrorists who are killing Pakistanis by thousands. What Pakistan does need are the weapons to fight ignorance, disease, unemployment, lack of civic facilities and infrastructure, etc. Let us hope and pray that the Americans have finally heard their taxpayers. In short, what Mrs. Clinton is saying is how can we continue strengthening Pakistani army after so much money and still supporting the terrorists? Recommend

  • Sameer
    Jun 24, 2011 - 6:38AM

    Right. If Pakistan doesn’t do what America wants, why on earth should America waste a single dollar? America isn’t a corrupt country.Recommend

  • Babloo
    Jun 24, 2011 - 8:23AM

    Explosive news from NY Times about how Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and ‘sensitive agencies’ colluded to protect Bin Laden

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/24/world/asia/24pakistan.html?_r=1&ref=global-homeRecommend

  • Siraj Ahsan
    Jun 24, 2011 - 8:58AM

    @Mirza:
    I am not in a position to say whether the congressman was right or wrong but I know one thing. If it did went to Musharaf the opposition today would have brought every penny he made and all mansions he built in the media. We all know that his personal corruption is not a thing of discussion. Him being a dictator for sure is there.

    I think Hiliary Clinton has made an honest and fair statement as an American. I would not give a dime to Pakistan. Reason for all good reasons Pakistanis did cheat them. On them cheating us in 1965 and 1971… there is alot of untold facts which we all have to be given to our nation.

    Drying up of aid is the best thing that can happen to Pakistan. We have a middle class that is fed on US Aid Money all their lives and now they have become bastions of anti americanism… and supporters of extremism in Pakistan. It is the same middle class that is now emerging as the one’s supporting mayhem. We all feel we can survive without aid and that we made great strides… let the hidden reality come to light. Now that friends are pulling the plug our real strengths will come to light if any.Recommend

  • Frank
    Jun 24, 2011 - 9:23AM

    She didn’t specify the steps, but
    stressed it was time for the US and
    Pakistan to ensure their interests and
    actions are aligned

    But how can the interests and actions of enemies be aligned? We are enemies in the truest sense of the word, make no mistake about it. Our interests and actions will become more and more misaligned in the coming years as you support and sponsor our other great enemy ,India, and we try to build alliances with Russia and China against you. Recommend

  • Bilafond
    Jun 24, 2011 - 9:35AM

    Mirza@ you are right.

    Mrs Clinton yes Pak-US relationship is equally frustrating for us. You keep on saying that and yet stick to the relationship because it is in US interest. You also do not want to continue with the same level of Military aid. You do not see that your interests and Pakistan’s cannot be aligned to a level where you want it to be — complete submission. Our Government, and NOT people are trying their best to do that to keep your interests alive and look where it has taken us; 36000 have perished to keep your DO MORE mantra alive. We cannot be worse than this, the government has outstretched it’s begging bowl. We keep hearing the billions you have spent the outcome of which is a splintered society lost in an Economic Shock. Even your Shock Therapy is painful. President Obama knows US interest and has ordered withdrawal of 30K troops from Afghanistan before the elections take place. Has the mission been completed? Afghans never allow foreign invaders leave with their chest out. You are leaving because it is in your interest. It is time that Pakistan starts looking inward to its own interest. We can do with extra 3 hours of load shedding. You have already trained us well to lay our lives, live with billion dollars of loans and debts, with a great package of Gas and fuel shortages, with your CIA operatives running around the whole country and another ” Chalk” waiting for Haqqani’s YES stamp. This whole scenario- who is looking after whose interest. Please do not give us threats – do what ever you want to… JUST leave us to our own self.Recommend

  • Irshad Khan
    Jun 24, 2011 - 9:50AM

    We should say thank you, please get out from our country and from our affairs, we don`t need you at the moment.Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jun 24, 2011 - 9:59AM

    @Siraj Ahsan:
    I am personally not saying that Mush took all of 7.5 billion dollars. Even the congressman perhaps did not literally mean that. He was giving the summary of Bush’s eight years in office and 15 billion dollars aid to Pakistan and half of the money disappeared. What is certain that such a huge amount of money was given and half of it is not accounted for? No big public projects were completed in those years either with the aid money or the local resources. The power sector was languishing just like basic education and healthcare to name a few. Some of the US money may have gone to our strategic assets or making more nuclear devices?
    This is the basic reason that in Kerry/Lugar Bill, there were separate military and economic aid and the oversight was emphasized. US taxpayers do not want the money for economic development be transferred to military activities. We in the US realize if there are jobs in Pakistan and poverty is reduced the fanaticism and terrorism would be reduced. Hence more oversight and strict allocation is necessary. Recommend

  • Kazmis
    Jun 24, 2011 - 10:07AM

    @Mirza:
    US government is not a child and not even Hillary Clinton. Money is going where US wants. My dear these are the tools to bribe, it is why yes man Musharraf still struggling to come again in politics of Pakistan, though he is so frightened with Pakistan public that he is running a self exiled life. Pakistan Army and Government are both under the full control of US how can a single penny may go in a wrong hand.Recommend

  • Akthar
    Jun 24, 2011 - 10:16AM

    Emotions Apart, Can we survive without Aid? Now US will Partner India, so is Russia. The West, would support India as India can generate business and Growth. The South-East Asia cares for Pakistan only with respect to Militancy (That Militants from Philippines/Indonesia take cover in Pakistan). The middle east and the Gulf, majority of countries dislike us anyway. Very less aid trickles from them & they way they treat us is already known to us. They have been buying us, Shamsi Airbase or our agri lands or for renting our Army like Bahrain.

    This is 21st Century & we can`t remain isolated in the name of “Ghairat”. I would like comments with practical solutions to our problems rather than empty accusations of “Indian Spy” or “Ghairat”. With such low economic growth, education, healthcare, jobs, rising militancy, how will we cope with our problems.Recommend

  • Mir Agha
    Jun 24, 2011 - 10:37AM

    “Aid” is overstated and overhyped.Recommend

  • Hassan Cheema
    Jun 24, 2011 - 10:48AM

    @Akhtar: u r so naive to think that u r getting any part of that “Aid”…
    Its not ‘Aid’ its AIDS….and its killing us slowly….Recommend

  • Rizwan saeed
    Jun 24, 2011 - 10:54AM

    Musharraf was in control of army and the state at that time, so it is not beyond belief that being at such a powerful position he kept a lion’s share for himself to do America’s bidding and distribute the rest among his subordinates. After all, leaders in Pakistan rule the country as if they are not going to get another shot at power, so they go on a plundering spree as if there is no tomorrow (and accountability).Recommend

  • Rizwan saeed
    Jun 24, 2011 - 10:55AM

    I am pretty sure that after this statement, the pak government representatives are going to say that we don’t need US, we have China/Saudia etc. It is like beggars union saying that if kalma chowk is under construction, so what. We can still beg at gorha chowk, liberty chowk etc.Recommend

  • BruteForce
    Jun 24, 2011 - 10:59AM

    The funny thing is that the Indians and the Pakistani Right WIngers both wants US Aid to Pakistan to stop, but for completely different reasons.

    Right-wingers think they can survive without Aid, Indians know Pakistan will struggle. Right-wingers think they China will replace US’s Aid-giving shoes, but Indians based on the past record(especially with North Korea and recent floods in Pakistan) think it is unlikely.

    I support Civilian aid but that will only enable the Army to divert the internal resources to buy fancy new weapons. Hence, it is rather well that Pakistan doesn’t get Aid at all.

    How much more worse can Pakistan get, is the real question that plagues me.Recommend

  • Anuj Mehta
    Jun 24, 2011 - 11:24AM

    @ Mir Agha… But it has kept you alive for last couple of years….Recommend

  • Siraj Ahsan
    Jun 24, 2011 - 11:54AM

    It is the right step. Pakistani middle class fed on aid is stemming the extremism in the country and they need a wake up call with money drying out so they realize that enemies lies within and not across the borders. I am from a generation fed on lies by military and I dont believe anything anymore. Biggest single problem Pakistan has is obsession with India and the whole industry that evolved and revolves around it. We have fed and pampered middle class rooted JI which has and is the single biggest supporter of terror and all outfits actually were formed by its member. It is sustained by middle class of the country and till we realize we made serious mistake nothing will ever get corrected.
    Let the aid dry out and then we all will realize this developed was all based on the billions pumped whether going in coffers or in pocket we didnt really do much to develop ourselves in 64 years.Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Jun 24, 2011 - 11:55AM

    @Frank:
    You are diverting away from the issue here, with your India Phobia!!!!
    It was ok when US was Handing out billions in Aid to Pakistan, I don’t recall anyone questioning about the money or the reason for it!!!!
    Any way what has India got to do with it??? Its quite normal in real world for countries to have close relationships and strong coomercial links too!!
    Pakistan simply only has links with Aid Money!! I don’t recall China or Russia being major Donars of anything to Pakistan in Past!! But good luck with these new found friends, this is one ungratful country, which bites the very hand that has fed them for over a decade!!!!Recommend

  • Ashutosh
    Jun 24, 2011 - 12:24PM

    The war against terror can never be won, if Pakistan is an ally …Recommend

  • Ammad Qureshi
    Jun 24, 2011 - 12:55PM

    Pakistan is really facing problems regarding terrorism rather Pakistan has become victim of terrorism after 9/11…Economically,financially and morally, we have gone bankrupt..we lost our near and dear ones in this war, that is not ours… we are fighting American war on our territory,we our killing our own Muslim brothers just for the sake of money… for God sake stop killing people and I request my Govt, to stop killing its own inhabitants and make America stop this bloody act of massacring… we do not need money we just need peace.May Allah protect Pakistan.AmeeenRecommend

  • Incredible
    Jun 24, 2011 - 1:20PM

    Mir Agha@: Do a survey of all the politicians and Generals who have mansions in UK and Dubai. You will get the answer to your question.Recommend

  • Jun 24, 2011 - 1:36PM

    Weird how so many people talk down the significance of the aid. If America has issues discerning where it’s going exactly, how do any of you know? I can’t recall your government ever being transparent to the civilians or anyone for that matter.

    Fact is, you don’t know anything about it beyond knowing it exists. So, no, it’s not a fact it’s disposable income.

    If you’re not just bitter and uninformed, enlighten us as to how you know these things beyond a conspiracy theory.Recommend

  • harkol
    Jun 24, 2011 - 3:04PM

    Seeing a lot of comments over here I can’t help but remember Sour Grapes story.

    Pakistan has to get real. When you are fatally wounded, you try and figure how to get well and back up on your feet. You can’t worry about doctor seeing you naked! You can’t continue the activities that got you wounded in the first place!! As Americans say when you realize you have dug yourself in to a hole – STOP DIGGING.

    USA & India combined haven’t killed as many Pakistanis as fellow Muslim extremists within Pakistan have. All USA is asking Pakistan to do is to get rid of all these folks and their sanctuaries and show that the establishment itself isn’t continuing to sponsor them.Recommend

  • Jun 24, 2011 - 3:38PM

    @Javed: Well said. Inshallah it will be fully backed by the majority who read your comment.
    Mrs. Hillary Clinton! Please! We implore you to stop your aid and let us indubitably count our immeasurable blessings. Thank you very much indeed. Salams to all Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Jun 24, 2011 - 3:48PM

    @Anuj Mehta: Yes Anuj Mehta, it has unquestionably kept us alive for many years.Recommend

  • anonymous
    Jun 24, 2011 - 4:45PM

    Pakistan should stop helping the US in their so-called war on terror. This war has cost Pakistan more than US can ever pay. Perhaps we need honest and courageous leadership to do this. Recommend

  • anonymous
    Jun 24, 2011 - 4:46PM

    US should send aid to India as she has the highest number of poor in the world. Recommend

  • Jun 24, 2011 - 5:34PM

    Pakistan has suffered enormous losses financially, economically, socially and psychologically and the compensation being paid by the US for this colossal damage amounts to almost nothing. It is estimated that during 2000-10, the US spent Rs2,000 billion in Afghanistan, Iraq and on beefing up domestic security. Pakistan’s share of this amount was Rs20 billion or 0.1 per cent, while the country has lost 35,000 civilians and soldiers, in addition to suffering disruption and dislocation of the economy, displacement of population, a several-fold increase in expenditure on military operations and internal security, almost virtual boycott of Pakistan by external visitors and a state of perpetual fear, etc. Out of the amount received, Rs8 billion under the Coalition Support Fund was simply reimbursement of the expenditures incurred on logistical support and supplies to Nato and US troops. …………. It would be better for both the US and Pakistan that the US bilateral official assistance is terminated sooner than later. The growing ‘trust deficit’ between the two countries will be bridged when the US Congressmen would not have a stick to hurl at Pakistan and the pressure tactics they apply too openly and too frequently would come to an end. Ordinary US citizens would have no qualm that their taxes are being wasted in a country for which they have very little empathy. In Pakistan, the political leadership would have to take some tough decisions to mobilise domestic resources rather than always choosing the soft option of foreign aid as a substitute. The Pakistani intelligentsia would no longer be concerned about the loss of honour, sovereignty and dignity in exchange for a few billions of dollars.

    An extract from the Article written by Dr. Ishrat Husain
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/171966/us-assistance-differing-perceptionsRecommend

  • khan from jeddah
    Jun 24, 2011 - 5:45PM

    the US needs these dollars more than we do… US aid is a political-economic bribe to favor a few… rejecting US aid will be a new dawn for Pakistan..

    “Fed: Economy has lost momentum
    http://www.washingtonpost.com
    The economic recovery is slowing and the outlook for next year has gotten worse, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said Wednesday, backing away from the view that the slowdown of the past few months was merely temporary.”

    source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/fed-says-economy-is-slowing-will-let-bond-program-expire/2011/06/22/AGPzYzfH_story.html?hpid=z2Recommend

  • anonymous
    Jun 24, 2011 - 5:59PM

    @Anuj Mehta:
    That’s again media hype. Just like the media hype about India’s progress. Recommend

  • anonymous
    Jun 24, 2011 - 6:02PM

    Indian government paid trolls are back. I hope tribune can get rid of these Indian trolls. BTW, these trolls bring shame to India. Recommend

  • Menon
    Jun 24, 2011 - 6:07PM

    @Akthar:
    Comparing India to Pakistan and Pakistan to India is futile exercise. Countries choose different paths since 1947 and in the 90′s India made turn and she is unstoppable now. International preception of India is entirely different today, it is looked up oan as model democracy of the world.

    US and India are democracies, many Indian-Americans in the US have seamlessly integrated with the society, white, black, latino, hispanic and asians understand Indians and respect what they have accomplished. Pakstani’s have also but not at the same but still large portions of Pakistani-Americans have not and the occasional arrests of Pakistani-Americans on terrorism charges does not help whatsoever.

    Just reality. Recommend

  • sachu
    Jun 24, 2011 - 7:23PM

    the sacrifice done is uncounted

    mess of agh comes to pak

    even 1 trillion is less for lifes gone because of americas war on terror

    that not means taliban is right

    pak taliban is most disgusting people there parents should feel shame .Recommend

  • Adnan
    Jun 24, 2011 - 8:48PM

    @Hedgefunder:
    YAWN……zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzRecommend

  • safir
    Jun 24, 2011 - 11:23PM

    i will say thank allah no more aid givig 25 cents getting geting 75 cents. please no thanksRecommend

  • safir
    Jun 24, 2011 - 11:34PM

    @anuj mehta i think last ten years were worst than sixty years and dont forget overseas
    pakistani sending ten billions $ to homeland. and kashmir is also big factor region is
    destabalized.Recommend

  • khurram
    Jun 25, 2011 - 1:56AM

    Well, Pakistanis did not ask for US aid for getting crew of MV Suez from Somali Pirates. We are a self respecting nation; what is needed is leadership which can think beyond self intrest.
    We can and will live through this crisis in our journey and come up as stronger nation.
    Read: http://www.guardian.co.uk/…/pakistan-hard-country-anatol-lieven-reviewRecommend

  • anonymous
    Jun 25, 2011 - 7:00AM

    @Ashutosh:
    It can never be won especially if India is an ally. India is too coward to take any action against the militants. Recommend

  • Jun 25, 2011 - 7:03AM

    DEAR FRANK,
    It is wrong to say that USA supports India. Today they look for economic support from India. Their President came to India looking for jobs back home for Americans,and their companies lined up with other companies of the world to sell things to India.Recommend

  • hassan
    Jun 25, 2011 - 11:46AM

    Once US gets out Afghanistan, it will stop all money to Pakistan. Cos they just don’t need Pak any more. Moreover, with the whole of Pakistan hating US so much, what is the incentive for them to pump in more billions? Why should they give money to ungrateful people? Once the MNCs get out Pak, how will the economy survive? How will we pay for the imports? How are we going to service our debts?

    I want to remind all my ‘ghairatmand’ brothers:

    — The milk you drink, the bread you eat, the medicine you take, the salaries you get…all these comes with the courtesy of US charity.

    Whether you like it or not, whether you understand it or not, whether you agree or not, whether you realise it or not, THIS IS A FACT. A BITTER FACT.

    The day US shuts down its shop in Pakistan, all other countries will follow suit and Pak will be like another Sudan or Somalia. You will see large scale riots in the streets fighting for bread and vegetables. Pray that this should not happen.Recommend

  • Khalid Rahim
    Jun 25, 2011 - 12:10PM

    Her Highness the Duchess of Big Apple wants the ”Livery” to be changed. Which means new uniforms for the stable boys; Proper care and handling of the stables where Broncos
    and Stallions from Langley will reside. Care must be taken that no harm comes to any of the
    mentioned members of humane society. This is way beyond our government’s strength to be
    able to comprehend and enforce the request. Perhaps someone should have moral courage to tell the Duchess ” The hen/goose that lays the eggs from which the chicks with razor sharp teeth hatch and find their way here is protected by a godess.” And we do not have such deities proclaimed in our country.Recommend

  • Jun 25, 2011 - 12:50PM

    @anonymous:
    you mean to say Pakistan is the shining example of courage when it comes to taking on militants? Really?Recommend

  • PoorPeace!
    Jun 25, 2011 - 2:23PM

    @Frank…Dear Frankenstein, monsters like you are the cause of Pakistan’s present state.

    @anonymous…If we start taking really tough action against militants, which means your country, you will again start acting like cry baby and run to your father China for comfort. So shut up! its good for you that we have extended our hand for friendship grab it while you can. Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Jun 25, 2011 - 5:03PM

    @Mark:
    Pakistan is Shinning example of an Nation which has managed to survive for last 60 years on Generosity of Others, and yet can play Irresponsible Games with their Partners in fight against the Terrorist!!!!!
    Is it any wonder that their Reputation on International Stage is so flawed, with all the deceit and denials and counter accusations of conspriracies and being victims rather than creators of the problems!!!!!
    About time this Gravy train stopped and lets see how they manage to survive!!! I can not see either China, Russia or Saudi Arabia rushing to provide Aid and Largesse to them!!!Recommend

  • Ashutosh
    Jun 25, 2011 - 11:29PM

    @anonymous:
    Don’t worry ! India is not an ally …Recommend

  • inam
    Jul 18, 2011 - 6:59PM

    It is really amazing to hear that they called the unpaid amount payable by American as

    Aid. If we analyze the figures that thing will become crystal clear that Pakistani’s are not
    getting any aid rather than paying America charity a poor man charity.

    American pays at most 2 billion US dollar to Pakistan Army as so called aid and
    Pakistan army stationed approximately 150000 Pakistani troops at Afghan border of
    approximately 750 Kilometer to minimize terrorist movement.

    The amount is approximately 36 US dollar per day for the services of one army person
    and all the machine cost on the army person

    2 billion /150000/365= 36.53 USD

    If we compare those figures with the American army expenditure inside Afghanistan
    things will become quite clear.

    American army expenditures approved by the congress for Afghan operations were 140
    Billion Dollar and further they get trench of 20 billion dollar. Approximately 120000
    American army personnel’s are stationed in Afghanistan.
    Average cost per soldier per day is 3,196 US Dollar per day. Important thing is that above
    mentioned cost is excluding salary paid to the soldiers.

    (140+20) billion /120000/365= 3,196 US $

    We are providing same services at 90 times cheaper rate to American and still they called
    it Aid. I like to call it Joke of the century. You cannot understand the qualitative impact
    of this donation which we are facing.

    It is better that you should not pay that amount but make sure that you have alternative
    arrangement to cope up with the situation. You have 120000 army soldiers at stake in
    Afghanistan but for us that cooperation will end up in our whole nation at stake.

    Recommend

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