Black hole for aid!
Saturday, August 04, 2012 - The US lawmakers dub Pakistan a ‘black hole for aid’ as the Democrats and Republicans debate the $ 20.4 billion aid given to Pakistan during the last decade, a claim which the Pakistani officials informally declare as false, adding Islamabad only received $12.5bn since last 10 years under the Coalition Support Fund. The CSF ($1.18bn) is now being released after the July 31 agreement between the United States and Pakistan following the opening of NATO supply routes on July 3. The officials in Pakistan privately claim that out of 12,5bn, $8.6bn were in cash, which was actually the reimbursement of Pakistan’s expenditures and not any kind of aid. Similarly $3.875bn were taken away by the Americans for security assistance provided in kind i.e. weapons, equipment, training, services, visits and pay of US trainers, etc. Pakistan had only received $500mn instead of $3bn since 2009 from the Kerry Luger-Berman $47.5bn aid plan. The Reconstruction of Opportunity Zones (RoZ) promised by Bush Junior has also been scrapped. The suspension of $800m military aid is the proof of real face of the US commitment. Pakistan has suffered the most in this War and monetary losses are more than $70bn besides over 42,000 dead. Though the American leaders admire Pakistani support, recognize its sacrifices and losses, but on ground the situation is different to Pakistanis. They see in their long history of friendship with the US, Washington never did anything contributing towards the prosperity and development of the country. Earlier the impression was created by western officials, media and analysts that the Pakistani military and its security apparatus were not in the prior knowledge of May 2 operation of get0-OBL. But in their recent remarks and some of the articles they have started projecting, maybe falsely, that the army leadership was in the loop, which seems to have not been bought by the general masses who are hard pressed due to power outages and price hikes. Observers privately recognize Pakistan has suffered the most but strings have always been attached with the reimbursement of its dues. The problem lies in Pakistan’s own house not being in order. The details of the US-Pakistan July 31 agreement have yet to appear, however the general impression being reported in western media is that Islamabad was coerced to come to such a point and had no option otherwise, but the fact remains that a lot has to be done on Islamabad and Rawalpindi’s side to mend their ways otherwise the NATO supply opening would turn into a national conflict on various levels in the years to come.
—Cape Town, South Africa