US aid to come with strings attached

Published: October 24, 2010
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Monetary support will be linked to progress against militant groups

Monetary support will be linked to progress against militant groups

ISLAMABAD: Stringent conditions are expected to be attached with the new $2 billion US military aid that Pakistan may start receiving from 2012.

Background interviews with American diplomats and Foreign Office officials reveal that the aid will be linked with progress against militant groups which the Obama administration believes the Pakistan military has yet to confront head on.

The Americans suspect that the Pakistan military has a “hands off” approach towards certain militant groups, namely the Haqqani network and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a jihadi outfit believed to be active in Indian Kashmir.

A recent White House report submitted to the US Congress claims that the Pakistan military continued to avoid engagements that would put it in direct conflict with the Afghan Taliban or al Qaeda inspired Haqqani network in North Waziristan.

Official sources disclosed to The Express Tribune that the Indian lobby is also active in Washington to ensure that the US aid is linked with Pakistan dismantling LeT, which New Delhi believes was behind the Mumbai attacks.

However, it is widely believed that Pakistan’s reluctance to go after groups such as the Haqqani network stems from the fact that the military does not see it a direct threat to its interests.

The military establishment is also concerned over the growing Indian influence in Afghanistan therefore it is keeping its options open by not directly challenging the Afghan Taliban.

Another factor that disturbs Pakistan is its reported exclusion from the Afghan reconciliation process. “Pakistan wants the US to address these concerns before it goes all out against such militant groups,” said a Foreign Office official.

On Friday, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani also warned that any Afghan reconciliation plan, which excludes Pakistan, might not succeed – fuelling speculation that Islamabad is being kept at bay from the process.

“There must be discussions on all these issues during the strategic dialogue in Washington,” an American diplomat told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity.

He said the details of the aid package will be worked out in due course of time. “But I am sure that the assistance will be linked with certain conditions,” he added.

The conditions will certainly include Pakistan’s firm assurance that the military assistance would not be diverted to the country’s nuclear program.

“This is one of the serious issues for the US Congress,” he added.

The Express Tribune has also learnt that the Pakistan military asked for immediate assistance to boost its capability to launch an offensive in North Waziristan.

However, the Obama Administration told Pakistan that the US will provide assistance only after the military shows “substantive” progress against certain militant groups.

“The next two years are very crucial and the US will see what progress Pakistan has made to dismantle and destroy the ability of terrorists to target America and its allies,” remarked another US diplomat.

“If Pakistan lives up to its commitment, the US Congress will certainly have no hesitation to approve the aid,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Nazir
    Oct 24, 2010 - 12:11PM

    Sir, Kashmir is not Indian Kashmir. It’s surely Pakistan’s vocal cord, Kashmir is a disputed territory and the people of Kashmir have the fundamental right to decide their future.
    India and Pakistan need to realize and resolve the issue in accordance with the UN resolutions as agreed upon in the past by both countries.Recommend

  • Ahmer Ali
    Oct 24, 2010 - 12:12PM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.As the US aid condition has declared openly therefore what shall be the next strategy of our beggars leaders to get this aid?Either our leaders shall take any strong and stern military actions against,most of the innocent muslims on the name of terrorism and extremism to get this military aid and,the handful terrorists or reject the military aid.Now in the light of this term and condition a new game of killings is going to start through any means either by Pakistan Army or by allowing USA for more and more Drone attacks on suspected places any where in Pakistan on the hide outs especially on tribal areas.In these conditions our leaders are playing the role of only a hired-killer.Recommend

  • hopeless
    Oct 24, 2010 - 4:22PM

    Haqqani network rahter than Happani NetworkRecommend

  • Noor
    Oct 24, 2010 - 6:56PM

    Dear all,

    Watch the video by Alex Jones on youtube called the Obama deception.

    If Kashmir has theright to decide their future, what about Balochistan. They also want to be free.

    By keeping to take billions of aid while not touching its own natural resources, we are being developed into thinking like slaves and sure acting like slaves.

    Tell them to take your aid and your $ up your ……………….but no we can’nt becuase our leaders are haram ki aulad. Recommend

  • Muhammad Ahsan Khan
    Oct 24, 2010 - 8:23PM

    Policy Perspectives , Volume6 , Number2, July – December 2009

    Abstract[This paper examines US bilateral aid flows to Pakistan from 1947 to 2006 to determine the extent to which the assistance has been linked with the strengthening of democracy in Pakistan. Comparing the allocation of American foreign aid (total, economic and military) provided to democratic and dictatorial regimes in Pakistan (in terms of total, average annual, and per capita per year), the paper finds that US aid shows a consistent pattern of high flows for military dictatorships and low or negligible flows for democratic governments, indicating that US aid has not been used to promote democracy in Pakistan; in fact, it has undermined it. The national and regional events responsible for the ebb and flow of US aid are discussed, showing that the US has maintained warm cooperative relationships with military dictators to use Pakistan to pursue its own political, security and geo-strategic goals. Editors]

    The above abstract clearly indicates that American aid has been always linked with the Security and Defence of Pakistan. The main beneficiaries had been the Pakistan Army. In the name of defence and security, the U.S. governments have been using the Army for their own interests and advantages. In this deal the U.S. and the Army totally ignore the people of Pakistan.

    In a way the Pak Army has been serving any pay-master. Remember “The Black September (1970)”, when the Pakistani soldiers (mercenaries!) under the command of Gen. Zia-ul Haq fought for the King of Jordan to oust the Palestinians from the Kingdom of the King.. Helping Saudi Arabs and Americans to get rid of Russians from Afghanistan was also a well paid Job.

    Pakistan Army will do what the Americans will pay for. The price should be appropriate according to the task. The safety of Pakistani citizens is only a secondary
    Objective.

    What is the use of talking of the American Aid today?Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Oct 24, 2010 - 9:49PM

    First of all we must accept or reject about militant outfits in our country. Do we have any then are we willing to address this issue because every country has “Lashkars” Military (Army) and not militant groups. If we do not have any then prove it to the whole world not only USA or any other Western Country but also to our country men and women. This money will only be flushed out on “Performance Basis” so what is so wrong in it. Here we have to choose between these groups and rest of the world. Yes, Kashmir issue must be addressed in a respective way with all stake holders on board. Water issue with India is also very important. Durable solution of Afghanistan can only be resolved when Pakistan is completely taken on board. There are also other regional players like Iran, China and India but the main stake holder is only Pakistan.Recommend

  • Anoop
    Oct 25, 2010 - 1:02AM

    About time. Pakistani is heavily dependent on US led aid. This should be done with all Pakistan-specific aid. Recommend

  • Oct 25, 2010 - 3:13AM

    This is very righrt, the US must put strings attached as corrupt people will step in and steal aid, as been doing before.Recommend

  • Babruk
    Oct 25, 2010 - 5:54AM

    I don’t the picture of mousetrap. to me it is a heavily biased reporting. let the reader make their own opinions. don’t impose your opinion on them under the semblance of objective reporting.
    ThanksRecommend

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