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Beggars can't be choosers: US rejects demand to change capitulating terms for $7.5 billion aid to Pakistan

By       Message Abdus Sattar Ghazali       (Page 1 of 5 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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Brushing aside concerns about the Kerry-Logar legislation as misinterpretation, Washington has rejected Pakistan's popular demand to bring any change to the capitulating conditions attached to $7.5 billion aid to the beleaguered nation. Instead, Senator John Kerry, Senator Richard Lugar and Congressman Berman issued a five-page Explanatory Statement to facilitate, what it called, accurate interpretation of the text of the law that has fueled more hatred against Washington. President Barack Obama signed the controversial legislation - the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009 - on Thursday without fanfare.

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The explanatory note attached to the Kerry-Lugar legislation in the face of bitter criticism by the Army and all major Pakistani political parties except the ruling Pakistan People's Party, does not change the contents of the legislation. Nor is it in any way binding because it cannot override the provisions of the US Federal Law. It is a sort of letter of intent which legally has no force of law behind it.

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President Zardari's government has accepted the Explanatory Statement amid a wide rift between the popular view against the Kerry-Lugar legislation and the Washington's client government in Islamabad. While there is a widespread rejection of the Kerry-Lugar legislation within Pakistan as it is generally considered as anti-Pakistan, the Presidency has insisted that it has nothing against the national interests and sovereignty of the country.

On October 8, Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said that the President Asif Ali Zardari as well as the Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani did not consider the Kerry-Lugar Bill as being against Pakistan's national interests. Babar justified the US legislation by saying: What the US Congress demanded was even part of the Charter of Democracy, which too asked for civilian control over the security institutions.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)

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