Withholding of aid not to affect tribal foray: Army

Published: July 11, 2011

Pakistani paramilitary forces patrol on July 9, 2011 during the "Koh-e Safid" (White Mountain) military operation against Taliban militants in central part of Kurram Agency, Pakistan's tribal belt bordering Afghanistan. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: 

The Pakistan Army has said that the suspension of US aid would not affect its ongoing campaign against militants in the tribal areas after a senior White House official confirmed that Washington was withholding nearly $800 million, including military assistance, to the country.

White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley told ABC television that Pakistan had “taken some steps that have given us reason to pause on some of the aid”.

But the Pakistan Army tried to downplay the development.

The chief military spokesman told The Express Tribune that any pause in US assistance would not hamper the ongoing offensives by the security forces against militants in the tribal areas.

“We have been doing these operations on our own in the tribal areas and we have sufficient resources to continue them,” insisted Major-General Athar Abbas, the Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

He added that the US had not yet “informed us in writing about the withholding of military assistance”.

“We have achieved success in the past against al Qaeda in South Waziristan, Bajur and other tribal regions without any external assistance,” he said.

However, Maj-Gen Abbas said the ongoing operations against al-Qaeda in the tribal regions were not only in the interest of Pakistan but also the US and the world at large.

“Al Qaeda is a common enemy of both Pakistan and the US,” he argued.

Military sources say the US announcement was not unexpected.

“These are pressure tactics,” said a military official.  “They (Americans) may temporarily suspend our aid but in the long-run they cannot,” he emphasized.

The US is aware of the fact that Pakistan has a pivotal role to play in the endgame of Afghanistan, he added.

“The relationship is at standstill,” commented another military official, who requested not to be named.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has urged the United States to share intelligence about new al-Qaeda chief Ayman al Zawahiri, after Defence Secretary Leon Panetta claimed that Osama Bin Laden’s successor was hiding inside the country’s tribal belt.

The request from the military appears to suggest that the two countries have yet to establish a mechanism for joint operation against “high value targets” in Pakistan.

Following the death of al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden in a US raid in May, Islamabad and Washington agreed to form a joint intelligence team to hunt down top al Qaeda operatives in the country.

Prior to his arrival in Kabul on Saturday, Defence Secretary Panetta asked Pakistan to go after al Zawahiri, who is believed to be in tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

“We expect the US intelligence establishment to share available information and actionable intelligence regarding al Zawahari,” said the military spokesman in a statement reacting to Panetta’s demand.

Maj-Gen Abbas added that sharing of information on the new al Qaeda chief would enable the army to carryout targeted operations.

Widening trust-deficit between ISI and the CIA has undermined ties between the two countries.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (30)

  • Dave Stewart
    Jul 11, 2011 - 8:50AM

    It is time the Pakistani army and its questionable intelligence agency stopped its parlays with the terrorists. This game has gone on for too long. It will be interesting to see where Pakistan stands without US arms. Chinese weapons are at best unproven in combat.Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jul 11, 2011 - 8:56AM

    Finally we are talking like a poodle, which is good. Instead of false denials, showing no remorse, attacking the US media (but not the US officials) finally the army has started doing what is good for Pakistan and the world, and for which they have been paid by the US. In the US there is principle, no work no pay; hence Pakistan has to show some results.
    Like a good kid without much fuss and demand for more candies, they are showing their dedication to the task at hand. One can only hope that they are sincere and not playing their usual double game. Pakistan army’s policy “if you cannot dazzle them with your brilliance, baffle them with you BS” is not going to work anymore. The US means business and they want to get the job done and they want it soon.

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  • Amjad
    Jul 11, 2011 - 8:59AM

    Pakistan should be free to conduct operations based on their own needs and ground reality. The West is set to abandon Afghanistan and Pakistan will be left to clear up the mess just like after Pakistan helped to defeat the Soviets. I think most in Pakistan will welcome a cut back in US aid if it means we regain our sovereignty. Now it should be Pakistan’s turn to cut off its interaction with Western agencies who are funnelling supplies into Pakistan which ultimately goes to support a corrupt Afghan regime which is pro Indian and fuelling criminality in Pakistan through terrorists.

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  • syed Yousaf
    Jul 11, 2011 - 9:46AM

    Stabbing in the back, the HallMark of American friendship.

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  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 11, 2011 - 10:09AM

    Yes ! Because you have been overpaid fpr past decade, for little in return !!
    They still don’t get it, that US has pulled the plug with the view to stopping it permanently, not just temporarily !!!
    The Days of unaccounted Aid and Assistance are over for Pakistan !!!

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  • harkol
    Jul 11, 2011 - 10:15AM

    @Syed:

    International relations are never governed by friendship/enemity. They are governed by international law, pursuit of national interest and of course peace.

    India was supposed to be close to USSR, and in rupee-rouble trade India used to get a lot of Defense supplies. In 1991, when USSR broke up the India-USSR trade was estimated to be $5billion (a huge amount at the time) that India paid for in Rupees. But, Russia – the successor state wanted India to pay it in hard currency, and that too at an exchange rate of 1980s, when Rouble commanded a higher value vis-a-vis US$.

    Russia was a friendly state with India, but it didn’t stop it from being unfair in its transactions. It renegotiated an agreed nuclear aircraft career deal and doubled its price!! The same can be said of India, India too moved away from USSR as the largest trading partner and befriended other countries.

    Just goes to show there is no permanent friends/enemies.

    High time India and Pakistan learned to live with each other in peace (even while there are differences in claims), rather than look to such ‘friends’ to back them up.

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  • Maher
    Jul 11, 2011 - 10:23AM

    Very good. Pakistan deserves this. I hope this ban will open eyes of our SO CALLED POLITICIANS

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  • Jul 11, 2011 - 10:49AM

    Very famous saying used in day-today language “Gora apne baap ka nahi hota, tera kia hoga”

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  • wasim younis
    Jul 11, 2011 - 11:21AM

    We need to access the situation and the ground reality first. its obvious that the current situation is not improving in our country and we need countries who can help us in getting out of this situation. Lets just hope that the ties with American counterparts improve.

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  • Basit
    Jul 11, 2011 - 11:29AM

    @Hedgefunder: 30,000+ Pakistanis sacrificed due to American inability to successfully finish wars they start. If anything, Pakistan has been underpaid.

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  • Atif
    Jul 11, 2011 - 11:39AM

    Thankyou USA, please keep this practice in the future and don’t give us even a single penny, its right time for Pakistan to come out of disgrace by living in its own means, thankyou america again you’ve been so kind to us.

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Jul 11, 2011 - 11:44AM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.This is the real face of US leaders’ enmity and in other words Allah Almighty has provided the golden chance to our corrupt,beggars and slaves leaders to stand on their own feet to get real and true self-reliance.This proves and shows that USA is not a true friend of Pakistan.Now our corrupt,beggars and slaves leaders must know that they have to build their own grace,dignity,honor,self-respect and self-reliance without any foreign aid and also they have to declare it openly before the world especially USA that now our all focus shall be on the betterment,welfare,security,protection and sovereignty of Pakistan and Pakistani nation instead of killing them on the name of fake terrorism.

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  • Ani
    Jul 11, 2011 - 12:24PM

    Just a quarrel between two dysfunctional lovers. They neither love nor like each other actually but need the other.
    For all the muscle flexing the US can’t find alternative routes. And for all the ghairat bravado Pakistan can’t find someone with so many free dollars and free shiny arms. Each will accuse the other , declare victory, make up – until the next spat. This is like a boring soap box. The actors change but the script is the same.

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  • ba ha
    Jul 11, 2011 - 12:24PM

    “Foray” is not the appropriate word here. Its very NYtimes.

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  • Akthar
    Jul 11, 2011 - 12:26PM

    Our Generals should also take out their children from the American Schools and put them in Pakistani Schools and Madrassas for Education. Will the Generals Agree? Why does our General Mush stay in UK? Why not in Pakistan? If they were Mard-e-Momins of Pakistan, why afraid to live in Pakistan?

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  • Pragmatist
    Jul 11, 2011 - 1:12PM

    @Basit:
    Quoting numbers without ANY proof is so easy. Why stop at 30000, you can even say 3 million.

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  • sam
    Jul 11, 2011 - 1:53PM

    @Dave Stewart:
    oh all knowing dave then what might u have to say abt cia agents striking deals with the taliban… tab bit biased dont u think?

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  • Jul 11, 2011 - 3:33PM

    @syed Yousaf:
    Funny you say that. From what I’ve seen there is far more anti-US talk in Pakistan. In the US the only anti-Pakistan talk is in reference to the “business” aspect of the alliance. The majority of US citizens are not Anti-Pakistan in regard to the people. Your government and army are ridiculously annoying, though.

    You’re just another example of Pakistan’s bad habit of believing they’re clean when I’ve seen more dingleberries on stray animals with more cleanliness and integrity. Sorry to say, but Pakistan is the reigning champion of trash talking, backstabbing and lies. That one is so easily provable that you just set a new record in denial. Be happy, it’s impressive considering how high the bar has been raised up until now. If you went to a search engine and looked up anything to do with Pakistan and deception… The internet would reach out and punch you in the face for putting such a heavy load on it.

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  • Khan
    Jul 11, 2011 - 3:45PM

    @Pragmatist:
    Proof isn’t always an article mate … All these blast in past many years were not a screen play each one killed dozens of people every second day … Millions of people got displaces in past operations … do you think it was just for nothing?.

    USA is a super power … and they are not dumb to let go their biggest enemy run away just like that unless there was a purpose behind it, when sending thousand of troops to Afghanistan knowing very well its going to cost trillions of dollars … with all their high tech equipment and superiority and then expecting Pakistan with no resources to catch them. A country which can’t send back over 3 Million Afghan refugees living freely and eating away our economy. Where Police is only famous for taking bribe with all honesty.
    All of these criminals were neither born here nor were in Pakistan when US was coming to the area. Army knows very well that we have to get rid of these criminals but if we attack NWA at this time … It will create a huge challenge for Pakistan at a time when the US is winding up. Lets not forget there was no India some times back when the land was divided in princely states, and all these countries come and go with time but the people of the land will always live here together. We want to get rid of all criminals from Pakistan regardless of who they are. You, Mr Johar & Hedgefunder come here every day from many months but I am yet to see you guys putting forward an unbiased comment. Our hard times could be yours tomorrow (God forbid). So if you can’t be helpful why waste your time & energy in negative way … Your thoughts are not gonna change ours nor it can change reality and facts.

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  • Dr,A.Ktewari
    Jul 11, 2011 - 6:30PM

    Pak army will now get reward under the table for her performance ,

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  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 11, 2011 - 6:57PM

    @Khan:
    I am Biased towards Pakistan, as i am not an Indian citizen, but British.
    I have very fond memories of Pakistan in late 70′s and have visited on numerous occasions.
    It was secular and cosmopolitan society, and its a completely different enviorment today !! My last vist was in 2003-04, and i could see the change in society’s basic fabric.
    There are not any positives that one can pinpoint, but sadly too many negatives that are daily occurances !!
    One only has to look at the state of this nation over last 15 years and there is pattern of Deterioration in every field, from social service, education, healthcare, security, economy, corruption, law & order, judiciary, state sponser terrorism etc……..
    Tell me i am wrong ?
    Sad fact is that the People of Pakistan have resigned to deal with any matters on their own, and have always entrusted it to either the Govt or Army, neither are accountable or transparent, hence their flawed Foreign Policy and its long term impact and consequences !!!
    When the person is ill , one depends on medication to recover, not denials and blame games !!!

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  • Cautious
    Jul 11, 2011 - 8:12PM

    Reality check – the only military offensive worthy of note in the last ten years was the Swat offensive where Pakistan devoted less than 3% of it’s military capability. In short – for 10 yrs Pakistan has been cashing checks and doing just about everything possible except going on the offensive against the militants. One can only hope they have sufficient funds to conduct the current limited skirmish. The USA should have cut off funds yrs ago.

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  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 11, 2011 - 8:14PM

    @Basit:
    Yes, whose fault is it, that over 30,000 people have died ???
    Its not as, if the americans have come in and killed them !!
    They have been killed by the very Guests, who incidently are your state’s ” Strategic Assets ” !!!! Now tell me who has got their priorities right???
    What excactly is the role of Law Enforcement bodies and the Army in Pakistan???

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  • Nadeem Ahmed
    Jul 11, 2011 - 8:36PM

    Free job is always a bad job.

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  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 11, 2011 - 9:19PM

    @Nadeem Ahmed:
    Nothing has ever been FREE, when it concerns Pak Army !! This is another execise to please Americans, in order to get some funds released !! Nothing more!!
    Ask UN !! They certainly got some stories about Pak troops deployed under their banner in Africa, and their abuses and dealings with locals for gold and diamonds too !!!
    But I suppose, stories like that never come out in Pakistan !!!

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  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 11, 2011 - 9:34PM

    @Cautious:
    I think that Taxpayers in US will be relieved that this has come to end!!!!
    Better Late than Never !!
    The Music is about to start, and its going to very interesting next few months as all the Major Donars will be watching this very closely and also may have local pressure to cut the Aid off !!
    So the Million Dollar question is hwo this nation is going to survive with the Aid?? Let alone meet repayments of the interest charges on Loans due, over period of next 6 – 12 months!!!
    So far Pakistan has used the concept of “Borrowing from Paul to Pay Peter” which really is not an solution in any time frame !!!

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  • Sher
    Jul 12, 2011 - 12:16AM

    @ Hedgefunder , u r a fool, US has proven it in Iraq by bombing n killing innocent people there, they treated the iraqi people like animals. US so called propaganda n lie n conpiracy abt iraq WMD, they did not find any, US is the champion of trash talking, backstabbing and lies. They can never win this war in afghanistan, not even in hundred years. US creates suicide bombers in afghanistan n send them to pakistan, US is a murderer. There was peace 10years bck in the region, bt US came in destroyd the peace. There intentions are nt gud. 911 was an inside job n pakistan knew dat US was coming way before 911, so v were prepared, US trying hard to destabalise. US is a fool. Now read this carefully.
    We change the course of time creek.
    We take the nation grace to peak.
    We never ever in war spreek.
    we fight death and death we seek.
    The hand of life & death we play.
    We kiss the lips of death & say.
    We did once in the warrior way & those coward die every day.

    ” we live with pride”
    “we play with death”
    “we are the proud “PAKISTAN”

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  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 12, 2011 - 2:19AM

    @Sher:
    OK, so I am a Fool, but i assure you lot of people trust me with their money and i make money for them, also they actually have high regard for my views in relation to current affairs ! As they entrust their money to me, unlike the likes of you who simply pop out to give your twp paisa worth of opinion!!!
    Where have i mentioned that, US Policy is not flawed or anything relating to Iraq??
    Answer me this question first, than perhaps i will find time to really answer rest of your waffle and BS !!

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  • Mirza
    Jul 12, 2011 - 3:56AM

    @Sher:
    Nice poetry, perhaps written by Saddam Hussein? He was also talking about the crusades and Sultan Saladin, from the Saladin province. Where is he now? Caught and hanged like a rat from a hole by his own people without mother of all battles. Grow up and smell the coffee before a drone comes from Shamsi Airbase and strikes again.
    If you read the history or Pakistan, it were not even 20,000 Englishmen, women and children both civil and military who kept all the people of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh up to the border of Afghanistan their slaves for couple of centuries. In other words this few gora controlled over 300 million people for that long? That is the extent of our courage!
    Regards

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  • Samir
    Jul 12, 2011 - 9:40AM

    Can we please grow up? We have to root out these terrorists whether or not anyone else supports us. Why do we have to cut our nose to spite our face? This is a problem we created and we must face it. It hurts us the most if we say “Oh well if the Americans don’t give us aid, we won’t do anything.” America is sitting 14000 km away. We are getting blown up every day.

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