US proposed law threatens to squeeze aid if NATO blockade continues

Published: December 20, 2013

The key supply line at Torkham border was blocked by PTI since Nov 24 in protest against CIA-led drone campaign in tribal areas. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

WASHINGTON: A proposed new US law threatens to squeeze aid to Pakistan if Nato supply routes are blocked or interrupted, Dawn News reported on Friday.

US National Defence Authorisation Bill of 2014 also requires a certification from US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel saying that Pakistan is taking appropriate actions against terrorists along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The development came after Hagel visited Pakistan on December 9. It was reported that he had warned Pakistani leaders that if they did not resolve protests stalling some military shipments across the border into Afghanistan, it could be difficult to maintain political support in Washington for an aid programme that has sent billions of dollars to Islamabad.

The key supply line at Torkham border was blocked by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the ruling party in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, since November 24 in protest against the CIA-led drone campaign in the tribal areas.

The new US bill is already approved by the House of Representatives and it includes extending funding to Pakistan for supporting the war against terrorism but with certain changes.

The funding has been reduced from $1.65 billion in 2013 to $1.5bn in 2014 as stated in a section of the bill titled “Limitation on amounts available”.

The White House had stated in a statement that “the bill will … support (US) capacity building efforts with foreign military forces, and support contingency or stability operations.”

“It also says that no amounts authorised to be appropriated by this bill, and no amounts authorised to be appropriated for fiscal years before 2014 that remain available for obligation, may be used for reimbursing Pakistan, until the US secretary of defence certifies to the congressional defence committees,” Dawn News further reported.

The Foreign Office Spokesperson, however, stated on Friday that Pakistan ”is in contact with the US and as of now there has been no decision regarding stopping aid to Pakistan,” Express News reported.

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Reader Comments (68)

  • SK
    Dec 20, 2013 - 12:33PM

    so what happened to no impact on supplies “because US had other routes as well”?
    Secondly, please please please stop aid because it goes into pockets of your cronies (in Pak govt) and not to masses who in any case don’t need this at the expense of self respect

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  • Ajab Khan Baloch
    Dec 20, 2013 - 12:33PM

    NATO Countries should stop aid in KP province

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  • Common man
    Dec 20, 2013 - 12:58PM

    Who said PTI blockade had no impact.. it tells now… and Please stop aid… You have made us into a beggar state

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  • sabi
    Dec 20, 2013 - 1:03PM

    @SK:
    please please please stop aid because it goes into pockets of your cronies (in Pak govt)
    If money is going in the pockets of cronies, as you are taught, who has built huge infrastructure that you enjoy every day.Ask yourself and get the answer it would be a bit revealing.

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  • Pakistani
    Dec 20, 2013 - 1:13PM

    Thank you. We don’t need your Aid. You have already done much harm to our country.

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  • Aalia
    Dec 20, 2013 - 1:18PM

    Will IK now take responsibility of all projects being run by aid of Nato countries?

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  • Analyst
    Dec 20, 2013 - 1:19PM

    The aid does not help the common masses in any way. Only beneficiaries are those at the ruling seat. So whether the US cancels it or doesn’t, the common man doesn’t care.

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  • Qasim
    Dec 20, 2013 - 1:22PM

    +Aid is good for pakistan. I have hope I will get few one school with teacher in my village in next 100 years aid. Please dont stop aid.

    Nato supply stoppage is is token of agitation. what has it do with aid money.
    In ukrine people are protesting in Thailand paople did protest in USA people did protest shall we stop commerace with countries,

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  • Aalia
    Dec 20, 2013 - 1:23PM

    @SK:
    so you expect them to aid pak despite of all the blockade?

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  • SK
    Dec 20, 2013 - 1:27PM

    @Sabi
    So you think infrastructure is just based on aid- what are we paying back all these heavily interest-based loans for then?
    Even if I had to buy your logic (which obviously I won’t), do you seriously believe that any nation can keep depending upon aid? think and you would find revealing answers, that is if you really gave it a thought with open mind

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  • Aalia
    Dec 20, 2013 - 1:27PM

    @Common man:
    if they stop aid then the state will transform from beggar to starving state!

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  • Dhaka
    Dec 20, 2013 - 1:33PM

    Pakistan expects some aid from us, if US does not provide aid.But it very unlikely that bangladesh will aid pakistan as recent tension between two countries.

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  • Ali Shah
    Dec 20, 2013 - 1:54PM

    The point of stopping aid for countries like Pakistan has come up quite a few times in the West in the context of the fact that it might actually enable the countries to stand on their feet.

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  • Asad
    Dec 20, 2013 - 1:57PM

    The blockade won’t hurt the Americans/NATO as much as Pakistan. They have spent hundreds of billions in Afghanistan & Iraq and spending 2-4 billions extra won’t bring their economy down but it will bring down all the austerity measures taken by the current government down and that is going to hurt each and every middle/below middle class in Pakistan. Just have a look at the projects which are currently going on due to USAID:

    http://www.usaid.gov/pakistan

    I know the direct aid might not be utilized to the maximum level but still we are getting something. Its not their aid but over bureaucracy/civilian government is corrupt. Their is very simple question which IK should answer: Do you have control over the terrorists operating from KPK territory?

    Plus it is also harmful for our relation with the NATO which is actually EU+ AUSTRALIA. The only thing is that you have to convince them through diplomatic channels and by taking concrete steps to eradicate terrorism. In the near future most of them will be gone and it will be you who will be facing them…We have seen what they did to SWAT valley and the same person is heading TTP now, so what do you expect? I am sure IK is a honest person and he really wants to help this country , there is no doubt in that…but why on earth is he supporting terrorists? For political clout for sure, to win over the religious vote!!! Wake up people and think for your own future…

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  • ABKhan
    Dec 20, 2013 - 2:07PM

    @Dhaka:

    Lol………. Man you are funny. Please try to find some shelter and food for flood victims which happens every year before thinking about other countries

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  • rizwan
    Dec 20, 2013 - 2:33PM

    Well done PTI,at least there is a party which can stand for the interest of Pakistan .

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  • Moiz Omar
    Dec 20, 2013 - 2:35PM

    Cut the aid please. It only goes to the pockets of corrupt politicians.Recommend

  • anoni
    Dec 20, 2013 - 2:39PM

    @sabi:
    Disillusion from you at best.

    Do you the the infrastructure being damage as well. Just go to Peshware and see it .. Then you won’t post a comment like this again

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  • Hasham
    Dec 20, 2013 - 2:43PM

    When we demands Afia Siddiqui, US shows no leniency be declaring that its their court decision.
    We must argue on same pitch. Its our court (Peshawar High Court) decision so US must respect our courts too!

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  • Bilal
    Dec 20, 2013 - 2:47PM

    @SK: Well said man

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  • S K Afridi
    Dec 20, 2013 - 3:09PM

    We the people of Pakistan reject the US aid. We have lived without the US aid in the past and Inshaa Allah we will still be able to live without US aid in future too.

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  • polpot
    Dec 20, 2013 - 3:20PM

    In 2010 floods india gave Pakistan 25 Mn USD for Flood Relief
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    We shall again extend the same for your courage in standing up to the Amercians.

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  • John the Baptist
    Dec 20, 2013 - 3:32PM

    “The US will always do the right thing but after exhausting all other possibilities.”

    Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during WWII

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  • CommonMan
    Dec 20, 2013 - 3:54PM

    We NEVER got this aid in the first place, it goes to politicians pockets

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  • Rex Minor
    Dec 20, 2013 - 3:58PM

    Pakistan has the choice to live off AID or live on credit, the mechanism of the capitalist economic system also used by the Americans. The Americans live on a permanent CREDITcreditaid which is the aid equivalent a trillion dollars from Saudis and a Trillion dollars from the chinese. They cannot provide health services to more than 20 million Americans, a large number of charity house feed its poverty stricken poor including ex marines from Afghanistan. On top of that they are used to printing dollar papers.
    But whatever the new Government does, it has not the right to mortgage its independence in order to feed its large army. Deploy the military in schools and other civic duties instead of performing the police man duties, privatise the military owned factories etc etc etc.

    Rex Minor

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  • PakistaniCitizen
    Dec 20, 2013 - 3:59PM

    Finally, so happy to hear this, our politicians income will finally drop

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  • PakistaniCitizen
    Dec 20, 2013 - 4:04PM

    Dear USofA
    We are already starving due to you dragging us into afghan war and the aid you talk about not a dime of it goes to people of this country. We will be pleased if its stopped completely.

    Abdullah (Common Pakistani Citizen)
    Islamabad

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  • Qasim
    Dec 20, 2013 - 4:35PM

    I will ask we should allow Nato supply if they build rail track from port to Border and carry all goods with rail only. As they are rich countries they can build in less than year.
    We should demand that only. As these rich coutries can built track with few money they already wasting so much money on weapons and wars.
    Why cant they build train track.
    As per UN charted as much any country produce weapon half of its money must use for world aid as there weapons causes war only,

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Dec 20, 2013 - 4:56PM

    Major part of US aid is Military aid. If it’s stopped, it will weaken our Military and would give advantage to its enemies. This is what PTI wants?

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  • Mubashir
    Dec 20, 2013 - 5:03PM

    Time to stand on our own two feet. We have crawled enough. Begging shall never allow us to develop National Pride and evolve into a self reliant and respectable nation. Enough blood shed already. Please stop!

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  • Jibran
    Dec 20, 2013 - 5:20PM

    Trade not aid?

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  • Rex Minor
    Dec 20, 2013 - 5:20PM

    @PakistaniCitizen:
    American aid usualy lands with the military, who then become the extended arm of the USA military. This is the case in Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Yedmen, Pakistan and many more. The largest contributor of the aid in the world is the European Union, which is usualy not meant for military purpose but to assist its people to improve upon their own resources. Pakistan nedw Government has the opportunity to engage with the European Union on cost effective civilian projects to improve its citizens life style.

    Rex Minor

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  • Truth
    Dec 20, 2013 - 5:23PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:

    Major part of US aid is Military aid. If it’s stopped, it will weaken our Military and would give advantage to its enemies. This is what PTI wants?

    Military is already weak dear PML supporter, enemies come and go as they please. PTI wants to get the AID label removed from our forehead which is taken in our name but not given to us. We are already starving better starve without this so called begging money. The only way out of this is self reliance and self respect, something which Nawaz Sharif doesnt want for us as his business interests abroad will be at stake if he displeases his foreign masters.
    Lets hope God opens your eyes.

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  • Truthprevails
    Dec 20, 2013 - 5:31PM

    @Dhaka:

    Pakistan expects some aid from us, if US does not provide aid.But it very unlikely that bangladesh will aid pakistan as recent tension between two countries.

    Joke of the century.
    The only aid your country can provide is illegal bangalis for population increase pls come to karachi sometime and see how many bangali citizens are here mostly involved in illegal businesses.
    Looks like we should deport them back so they can take advantage of your AID program after all bangalis should be served first isnt it.

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  • nikki_2501@yahoo.com
    Dec 20, 2013 - 5:38PM

    So the United States has the right to use this option.Ironically, PTI and IK will get nothing.
    Eventually, KPK will suffer more.

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  • Sara Khan
    Dec 20, 2013 - 5:53PM

    Great move… foreign aid is the biggest enemy of Pakistan.

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  • Faisal
    Dec 20, 2013 - 5:55PM

    For all those who are afraid of dying without US aid; I just need two line answer from them:

    How much aid have we received in total since 2001?
    How much are our estimated damages overall due to participating in this so called War of Terror?

    As per my figures:
    1. Around 12-15 Bn US$ (US state department stated it to be US$ 6.xx BN)
    2. Around US$ 90-100 Bn

    Please choose your pick.

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  • rp
    Dec 20, 2013 - 6:33PM

    Pakistan is international beggar and beggars have no choice……

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  • Sexton Blake
    Dec 20, 2013 - 6:41PM

    The US is now offside with Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. I wonder if this is telling the Americans something, or do they think the whole world is wrong and they are right?

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  • Rex Minor
    Dec 20, 2013 - 7:18PM

    @nikki_2501@yahoo.com:

    A slave, a proleteriat has nothing more to loose than his chains!! Pakisan must industrialise and creat jobs, it must carry out education reforms to build and educucate its population, upgrade its Madrassas to teach sciences which are imbedded in the scriptures, its universities to become elite, and so on. There are many investors around the world who would be prepared to participate in the grand plan, provided it has the approval of the majority, a peaceful environment and minimal beauracracy.

    Rex Minor

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  • naeem khan Manhattan,Ks
    Dec 20, 2013 - 7:30PM

    Believe me it is not in the interest of the US to see Pakistan goes down the tube, a State with almost 185 million and armed with nuclear assets will create more problems for US and the NATO countries which they will not be able to handle. By the way it is not charity, they have used Pakistani air bases for years to attack and contain Afghanistan and above all these heavy laden trucks do tremendous damage the infra structure from Khyber to Karachi. Imran Khan has taken a stand and now even the UN is considering the legality of drone attacks which causes innocent people to lose their lives while some one sitting in Arizona thinks like it is some kind of computer game.

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  • csmann
    Dec 20, 2013 - 7:32PM

    Pakistan should stand fast and deny all aid.That will teach USA a lesson.The money could be given to a few poor countries in Africa..

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  • unbelievable
    Dec 20, 2013 - 8:02PM

    Cutoff of aid is the least of your worries – if they wanted USA could just stop buying your textiles, quit supporting IMF loans to you etc – essentially collapse your economy without lifting a finger. Must be difficult to hate a country which you depend on for survival.

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  • Pakistani
    Dec 20, 2013 - 8:20PM

    @rp:
    Indians are international trolls and seem to be obsessed with Pakistan. They will put all their energy and time in typing anti pakistan comments but will turn a blind eye to mumbai slums

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  • K
    Dec 20, 2013 - 8:21PM

    Listen naïve people,
    NONE of the aid is intended to benefit privileged people like you guys who can understand English and comment on Express Tribune. You are NOT the intended beneficiary of ANY aid your country receives. NONE. The aid is meant for the POOREST people in your country, not the RICHEST people like you guys. So your ranting on this website, and screaming “we would rather starve than receive aid” is nonsense. Because since you are not receiving the aid, you won’t suffer even if that aid were to be discontinued. But other poor Pakistanis ARE receiving billions in aid from America and those poor people WILL SUFFER if aid is cut. So please think about others for a change. Not everyone is as lucky and rich as you guys who are ranting here.

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  • Pakistani
    Dec 20, 2013 - 8:23PM

    @unbelievable:
    Dear indian open your eyes there are 160+ countries in the world to do business with and we already do business with many countries despite bad economy. So please keep your pro-beggary and slavery comment to yourself. Let USA stop trade and aid with us and lets see what happens, what is stopping it ?????

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  • truth
    Dec 20, 2013 - 8:27PM

    @unbelievable
    you won’t believe how shameless some politicians in land of pure really are who mislead the sheeple despite knowing very very well that their country’s economy would collapse if America and the West stopped pumping their money into failing country. Denial. Denial. Denial. That’s what they all are good at.

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  • John the Baptist
    Dec 20, 2013 - 8:27PM

    @unbelievable:

    USA could just stop buying your textiles, quit supporting IMF loans to you etc – essentially collapse your economy without lifting a finger. Must be difficult to hate a country which you depend on for survival.

    No problem, we have lots of people in Pakistan in need of new clothes who will be happy to get whatever the US does not buy–they can buy it from Morsi in Egypt. It will take a few years but we can find other markets–Pakistan grows one of the best cotton crops in the world! Until then, we can rely on overseas Pakistanis to increase remittances to cover the forex loss.

    And for the IMF loans, the less said, the better–the IMFcan take them and ………

    Finally, just to be clear, we don’t hate any country; we disagree with a policy that is not good for us. Why is that so unbelievable, @unbelievable?

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  • shah
    Dec 20, 2013 - 8:29PM

    Without this external assistance , Pakistan cannot pay its government, police, soldiers or their pensions and it cannot buy fuel to keep electricity going. PTI fools will rejoice as they are blinded by their mullah ideology but Pakistan will suffer as its homegrown extremism and terror will continue but external assistance to mitigate it will drop off.

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  • Pakistani1
    Dec 20, 2013 - 8:31PM

    @polpot:

    In 2010 floods india gave Pakistan 25 Mn USD for Flood Relief
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    We shall again extend the same for your courage in standing up to the Amercians.

    Extend the same to Indian Nationals in slums of mumbai, will make more sense

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  • Pakistani National
    Dec 20, 2013 - 8:34PM

    @Aalia:

    Will IK now take responsibility of all projects being run by aid of Nato countries?

    You mean project of filling pockets of politicians and military officials ???

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  • Mohd
    Dec 20, 2013 - 8:36PM

    @unbelievable:

    Cutoff of aid is the least of your worries – if they wanted USA could just stop buying your textiles, quit supporting IMF loans to you etc – essentially collapse your economy without lifting a finger. Must be difficult to hate a country which you depend on for survival.

    No worries there are many countries to do business with (approx 160+). Also, why just warnings?? Do it in real pls uncle sam, we would love to see our politicians pockets become lighter.

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  • IndianHateWatch
    Dec 20, 2013 - 8:39PM

    @rp:

    Pakistan is international beggar and beggars have no choice……

    Why is India so obsessed with so called “beggars” ?? First cleanse your own streets

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  • John the Baptist
    Dec 20, 2013 - 8:42PM

    @Pakistani1:

    I think setting up a Khmr Rouge branch in Assam to spread commie crap will be a wiser use of the funds? What do you think, @polpot?

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  • g
    Dec 20, 2013 - 9:03PM

    @John the Baptist.
    That’s called building castles in the air. You can’t force others to buy from you even in your country let alone persuade other countries to trade with you, and the businessmen are not foolish that they are not able to “find other markets” at present that might become available some time in the imaginary future. They are doing everything to expand their businesses but other countries are not interested and they will not become interested just because one country stops exporting from you. Moreover, you can’t make people “increase remittances” because surely we all know money doesn’t grow on trees outside Pakistan either!!! They are most likely already remitting all the money they earn. Don’t be so ungrateful for all the money your country generates exporting goods to America. Plus if your country becomes a pariah state and sanctions are imposed, other countries will cut back on exporting from your country as well. So no need to be smug, The economy could very much easily collapse. Pakistan should behave like the responsible state it was supposed to be.

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  • salman
    Dec 20, 2013 - 9:21PM

    Some people are getting so worried about Aid being stopped. There is no need to worry. If all Aid was to be stopped, I see two options for Pakistan. We will sink, or we will swim. I have seen enough resiliance in our people to know we will not sink. Practically what this would mean, is that we will need to raise the money from elsewhere. Best option, increase the tax BASE, and tax the rich more. If we do this, we won’t need aid. So we should be doing this anyway.

    Lets see if Sher had courage to do this and dissapoint thier supporters in the business community, for the benefit of the common man. :)

    Cmon sher…you can do it!

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  • PakistaniLoyalist
    Dec 20, 2013 - 9:40PM

    @g:
    That way india should worship US for buying its products & service

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  • Navaid
    Dec 20, 2013 - 9:48PM

    Pakistan needs to be broken up into several countries, InshAllah.

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  • Fact-finder
    Dec 20, 2013 - 10:06PM

    @ABKhan: He is right……… BD has earned a lot of extra money with its hard work. Pakistan should keep aside its big ego and ask for help from them. It is no harm asking help from one’s own BIG BROTHER-Bangladesh, rather than outsider drony Uncle Sam.Recommend

  • Dec 20, 2013 - 10:19PM

    USA also needs Pakistan’s help / co operation for the regional stability in the region post NATO withdrawal.Use of alternate route from central Asia for the shipment will be much more costly than the Pakistani land route and who else other than America understands the economics better. they will take steps to convince the ruling elite to lift NATO supply blockade. . To put pressure USA may persuade EU countries to suspend / defer GSP plus scheme ( a total exemption of custom duties on Pakistani export to them) Power of money is more than that of the gun. USA will use the policy of carrot and stick but can not severe the relation altogether( means aid). But once their interest is served they will not look back to Pakistan or any countries whatsoever. .In this materialistic world there are neither permanent friends not permanent foes.

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  • masialu
    Dec 20, 2013 - 10:56PM

    The best thing America can do for Pakistan is to stop aid and let our government sort the tax policy and start taxing the rich,property transactions,stock markets,proper business tax and not to give amnesty to the rich.If all above is done i can assure you that within a short time we can be self sufficient.

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  • Sandip
    Dec 21, 2013 - 12:07AM

    @Hasham: Nobody respects kangaroo courts.

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  • Imkan Batt
    Dec 21, 2013 - 12:08AM

    Instead of punishing the government of pakistan , the USA and EU should ban financial funding of PTI from their countries as well as declare imran khan the partner of terrorists in KPK , this would solve the problem in less than an hour.

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  • Imkan Batt امکان بٹ
    Dec 21, 2013 - 12:17AM

    USA should declare PTI a terrorist party and imran khan as wanted terrorist, this would help both USA and Pakistan. Thanks

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  • Last Word
    Dec 21, 2013 - 10:30AM

    Pakistan should strive hard to exist without foreign aid however, some hard measures may have to be resorted to achieve self-reliance. The military is the biggest spender of the foreign aid and most of it is India orientated which can easily be curtailed by improving relations with its neighbour. The decades old self-destructive policy of exporting terrorism needs to be abandoned which would go a long way in normalising relations, cutting down heavy defence expenditure and diverting the same to improve country’s economy.

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  • Aschraful Makhlooq
    Dec 21, 2013 - 1:09PM

    US don’t waste any more time and close all your aid and as well as stop all the interference in any forms and manifestations in Pakistan’s any matters and give us chance to stand on our own feet for real and uninterrupted sovereignty because US’ aid is the biggest ever hindrance in Pakistan’s sovereignty…..

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  • ABKhan
    Dec 21, 2013 - 5:58PM

    @Fact-finder:

    I cant stop laughing. The fact is I am attached to development sector, and at the moment Bangladesh is the biggest aid receiver from international donors . Do you call it earned money?? Lol, I think you dont know their is audit of any money you get in aid and you cant just give it to someone else, better use it for the welfare of poor Bangalis instead of putting it in corrupt politicians pockets

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  • ABKhan
    Dec 21, 2013 - 6:04PM

    @K:

    ” The aid is meant for the POOREST people in your country, not the RICHEST people like you guys”

    I am in the development sector and knows exactly how this aid comes and intended for poors but 80% of it goes into administrative purposes (Rent, salaries, picnics, and in the pockets of NGO workers). Donors know that, and they are fine with it. So please, no one will buy your theory. If aid is stopped the only losers will be NGO workers and government not the common man.

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