Strings attached: Talk of US aid scorecard rubbished

Published: August 16, 2011
The White House is basing billions in on Islamabad's ability to meet a 'scorecard' of security objectives.

The White House is basing billions in on Islamabad's ability to meet a 'scorecard' of security objectives.


Hours after The Wall Street Journal reported about a new ‘pay-for-performance’ mechanism put in place by the US government to gauge how best to measure Pakistani co-operation and make decisions on aid, a US defence official told The Express Tribune, “The decisions regarding our relationship with Pakistan are not made by looking at colours on a chart.”

Responding to the WSJ story, the defence official said: “A series of events in recent months have affected our bilateral relations with Pakistan and, as a result, the Pakistan Army has requested a ‘significant cutback’ of US military trainers and has limited our ability to obtain visas.”

The official indicated that any cuts in aid were directly connected to the reduction in trainers requested by Pakistan in the aftermath of the US raid on Abbottabad on May 2, and not a new US policy.

“While the Pakistani military leadership tells us this is a temporary step, the reduction in trainers is having the immediate consequence of preventing us from delivering a significant amount of military assistance. This was not a decision made by the United States and does not signify a shift in US policy,” said the US official.

On Monday, The Wall Street Journal had reported in its American edition that the US  government had created a ‘scorecard’ to gauge the level of Pakistani cooperation in the war against terrorism, and make aid decisions based upon a new ‘pay-for-performance’ mechanism.

The report stated that the mechanism involved creating four ‘buckets’ representing different areas of cooperation, with each bucket containing a ‘to-do’ list for Pakistan. It also emphasised, however, that there was no hard and fast rule connecting Pakistan’s performance on the scorecard and the aid Washington gives Islamabad.

The report seemed to contradict the vigorous campaign led by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other officials in President Barack Obama’s administration to prevent the United States Congress from imposing any sort of restrictions on US aid to Islamabad.

(Read: Clinton wants Obama to veto conditional aid bill)

Relations between both Pakistan and the United States have soured in the days since the Bin Laden raid, with many in Washington referring to this as the worst time in relations between both countries. In the months after the Abbottabad raid, the US placed a hold on $800 million of security assistance, of which $500 million had been earmarked for security equipment and military trainers.

(Read: Pakistan defiant as US halts $800 million military aid)

The US official said that Washington had communicated a number of times to Pakistani officials that the US requires their support to provide certain assistance. Additionally, said the official, the US is not prepared to provide military assistance at the previous pace, unless there were certain steps taken.

“Allowing an appropriate presence of US military personnel, providing necessary visas, and affording appropriate access are among the things that would allow us to effectively provide assistance,” he said.

Echoing some of what was said in the WSJ story, the defence official said that a number of areas had been identified in which both countries needed to take measures to take the relationship forward, which were being discussed privately at the highest levels.

The defence official said that the US was committed to providing US civilian assistance to Pakistan.

“We take a very clear-eyed approach to our relationship with Pakistan – recognising both the importance of our long-term relationship and the need for near-term action on key issues. The decisions regarding our important relationship with Pakistan are not made by looking at colours on a chart.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Mirza
    Aug 16, 2011 - 7:44AM

    Pakistan must understand that there are no free lunches anymore. Unless Pakistan does what USA wants it to do, there would not be much more money for Pakistan. As they say here, “no work no pay” “no honey no money”.
    I am not saying what Pakistan should do, it is a decision that the nation as a whole should take. If they want to be on their own two feet then please declare it in no uncertain terms and become an active member of the old non aligned group of countries. On the other hand if they keep close to the US and keep double crossing it, there the money would and has dried up. No matter what happens, the old policy of Pakistan has failed to bring peace, prosperity and progress in Pakistan and has alienated it from its friends.


  • iftikhar ahmed
    Aug 16, 2011 - 8:33AM

    I guess ban or strings on aid to Pakistan will be blessing in disguise for pakistan.In the past

    U.S put ban on all sort of military weapons to pakistan,as result pakistan struggled and beccame nuclear power.Now i am sure if U.S stops economic aid it will help pakistan to make self sufficient.Pakistanies are a tremendous nation.As you have seen in war of terror

    Pakistan suffered heavy casulties but the whole nation remain calm because pakistanies know that this is tact of pakistan ‘s enemies to destablise the country. So i think if the U.S. policy makers have something in brain they wo’nt stop aid to pakistan because this will make pakistan dependable and it will be easy for U.S. to use pakistan as a tool.


  • shuja
    Aug 16, 2011 - 8:42AM

    we welcome this decision as a nation because not a single dolor is spent on people rather it goes in corrupt politician and generals.this will not have effect on condition of Pakistani we are happy over it


  • M.Akthar
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:33AM

    Get more aid & forget everything! Dr. Aafia, abottabad, raymond davis, nuclear deal with india etc. From here on, get chinese aid & forget the chinese killing innocent uighur muslims. All that matters is $$$’s. Why not take $$$’s & forget kashmir?


  • Born Again Pakistani
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:47AM

    We dont want any aid or support. Alone Pakistan is strong enough to take over the world. We have Taliban on our side. We are capable and will show to the world how we can develop a country strong in isolation. Reject all aid from the world we dont need anyone! We have what we want….


  • malik
    Aug 16, 2011 - 10:08AM

    @Born Again Pakistani:

    You have forgotten to add the following:
    1.) US needs Pakistan more than Pak needs US.
    2.) Pak’s unique Geographical position, it is the greatest
    3.) Oue great friend China will provide everything for us
    4.) When Kashmir joins Pak, all the terrorism will be solved
    5.) Pak is fighting the US war on terror and not its own
    6.) If Pak fails, then it is not our problem anymore, and the whole world will have to pay for this.
    7.) So, don’t wait till it is too late, PAY US NOW !!!!!


  • Chengez K
    Aug 16, 2011 - 3:35PM

    This one score card where Pakistan should do its best to fail!!!

    After getting 35000 Pakistani killed for American interests it high time we say……..GOOD BYE


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