Backfire: USAID gluing together fragments of what US foreign policy broke, says Hussain

Published: April 3, 2012

A woman from Malakand displaying her skills at the USAID seminar held in Islamabad on MONDAY. PHOTO: SANA

ISLAMABAD: 

An attempt to promote US contributions in Malakand division backfired when Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain blamed the country for militancy in the region, at a seminar on Monday.

During the seminar held by USAID to promote its success in reviving the conflict and flood-hit division, USAID Country Director Andrew Sission gave a detailed explanation of various rehabilitation projects initiated by the aid agency.

However, the atmosphere became somewhat tense when the provincial information minister came on stage and criticised the US for “initiating militancy in this part of the world after 9/11.”

Hussain, who lost his only son in an attack in 2010, said that while America’s hard work to revive the region is commendable, there is a need to revise its foreign policy towards Pakistan to gain locals’ confidence.

At the same time, he blamed Pakistan for falling into the hands of US and said if it were not for the US intervention in Afghanistan, “We wouldn’t be having seminars on life-affirming stories…we would be talking about development and progress.”

He said people in K-P have learnt to live with danger and will continue to do so. “It is great to see that the US is supporting education but it should be reminded that the majority of children are still studying in destroyed school buildings irrespective of the risks.” However, the minister clarified that the people would openly support the US if they worked in Pakistan’s interest.

Moving on to talk about the humane side of people in the province, which has become a battleground for the war against terror, Hussain said the world needs to come to K-P and see how people uphold universal values in contrast to popular perception. “We will fight this war till the end,” he declared.

According to a statement issued by USAID, the US government has given over $450 million in direct humanitarian assistance to conflict and disaster-hit areas through various projects in the past five years.

Several projects have been initiated to revive Malakand’s economy, which include reconstruction of 261 hotels besides rebuilding fisheries, schools, health clinics, water supply system and government buildings. More than 14,000 affected families have received funds to reconstruct their homes, while over 100,000 farmers and micro-entrepreneurs have received assistance.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 3rd, 2012.

Reader Comments (8)

  • Harry Stone
    Apr 3, 2012 - 9:13AM

    A great example of why the US should stop all aide to PAK.

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  • Sonya
    Apr 3, 2012 - 11:09AM

    I thought USAID is one part of the same Jigsaw. USAID has also jeopardized other genuine development agencies work including the United Nations. Using valid US passports and posing as construction and aid workers, dozens of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operatives and contractors flooded in without the requisite background checks from Pakistan. Fake EPI campaign by USAID contractor in Abbotabbad, the recent closure of USAID funded projects for sending cover agents as development experts are only few examples.

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  • Apr 3, 2012 - 4:32PM

    @Sonya: God bless you!

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  • Abbas
    Apr 3, 2012 - 5:15PM

    Though there have been some clearly visible efforts by the USAID in the development field but at the same time there have also been some doubts on their vested interests. More or less USAID acts as foreign policy tool for USA.

    “In 1990, on the eve of the first Gulf War, Yemeni Ambassador Abdullah Saleh al-Ashtal voted no to using force against Iraq in a security council session. US Ambassador Thomas Pickering walked to the Yemeni Ambassador’s seat and retorted, “That was the most expensive No vote you ever cast.” Immediately afterwards, USAID ceased operations and funding in Yemen.”

    Check out the last part of this link http://matadornetwork.com/change/7-worst-international-aid-ideas/

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Apr 3, 2012 - 5:40PM

    @sonya
    Mullahs are not wrong allways after all.Recommend

  • Cautious
    Apr 3, 2012 - 6:24PM

    Classic Pakistan — only country in the World that will accept aid and doesn’t have the common courtesy of saying “thank you”.

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  • peter
    Apr 3, 2012 - 8:21PM

    @Cautious:
    There is a long history to USAID programs in Iran, Iraq, Indonesia and a large number of south and central american countries. The statics of effects these programs have produced are immense in contributing to US economy and its commercial interests. United states agency for international developments and other such organizations like world bank etc have been very aptly showcased by Mr John perkins in his book, “confessions of economic hit man”. Mr cautious you need to read this surely.

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  • Jamal
    Apr 3, 2012 - 11:04PM

    Long live US of A! God bless the United States of America!!!!!

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