ÖPakistanís gift on US Independence Day
The demand for adequate compensation of the infrastructure losses caused by extraordinarily heavy NATO containers was there in the initial draft of the parliamentary recommendations but it was left to the discretion of the Government and other negotiators in the final version and this discretion has been grossly misused by those at the helm of affairs. The levy of appropriate fee was one of the ticklish issues that remained under discussions not only within the country but also with the United States during these seven months and Pakistan had every reason to expect a reasonable levy but regrettably it has forfeited this right and allowed free for all transition of goods as usual. This is justifiably being resisted by almost all segments of the society on two accounts. First, the Musharraf-like chivalrous and liberal but personal approach to allow use of vital strategic facilities is highly deplorable as no individual or group of policy-makers is authorized to barter away national interests whimsically in this manner. Second, Pakistanís road infrastructure has suffered staggering losses due to transition of NATO supplies and there was every reason to levy fee to recover these losses. No doubt, the United States has agreed to release $1.18 billion under Coalition Support Fund (CSF) but this is no favour as the country has already incurred this expenditure from its meager resources. The decision to dole out this undue favour is nothing but a luxurious gift from a poor country to a powerful and affluent friend on its independence day.