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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/30/09

Capitulating Terms of the $4.5 Billion US aid to Pakistan

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Major political parties of Pakistan have bitterly criticized the capitulating conditions attached to the $4.5 billion US aid to Pakistan under the Kerry-Lugar Bill passed by the Congress on September 4, 2009. Pakistan Muslim League, a leading political party led by a former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, described the conditionalities similar to the notorious Pakistan-specific Pressler's amendment that was used as an arms twisting tool by the US administration.

The Secretary of State has to issue a certificate on some sensitive subjects before each installment of the US aid is to be disbursed. The Secretary of State, under the direction of the president, has to certify to the appropriate congressional committees that:

1. the Government of Pakistan is continuing to cooperate with the United States in efforts to dismantle supplier networks relating to the acquisition of nuclear weapons-related materials, such as providing relevant information from or direct access to Pakistani nationals (Read Abdul Qadeer Khan) associated with such networks;

2. the Government of Pakistan during the preceding fiscal year has demonstrated a sustained commitment to and is making significant efforts towards combating terrorist groups, consistent with the purposes of assistance described in section 201, including taking into account the extent to which the Government of Pakistan has made progress on matters such as:

(a) ceasing support, including by any elements within the Pakistan military or its intelligence agency, to extremist and terrorist groups, particularly to any group that has conducted attacks against United States or coalition forces in Afghanistan, or against the territory or people of neighbouring countries (Read India);

(b) preventing al-Qaeda, the Taliban and associated terrorist groups, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, from operating in the territory of Pakistan, including carrying out cross-border attacks into neighbouring countries, closing terrorist camps in the Fata, dismantling terrorist bases of operations in other parts of the country, including Quetta and Muridke, and taking action when provided with intelligence about high-level terrorist targets; and

(c) strengthening counter-terrorism and anti-money laundering laws; and

(3) the security forces of Pakistan are not materially and substantially subverting the political or judicial processes of Pakistan.

According to Shaheen Sehbai, editor of the leading Pakistani newspaper, The News, the language of these conditions is different but in essence the US demands are the same ├ éČ" give us AQ Khan, don't finger India, forget Kashmir, close the terror shops of Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammed and cooperate in the war on terror on our terms.

The more direct language against military intervention in political and judicial processes has apparently been added by the US legislators on the insistence of those Pakistanis who feel that the GHQ in Pindi is still creating hurdles in allowing the PPP to run its government as it likes, specially after the March 15 intervention to restore the judges, something which was taken as a direct affront to President Zardari who had over-committed himself not to restore the chief justice.

These conditions implied that (1) Pakistan is supporting terrorist groups. (2) It is involved in attacks on India. The Kerry-Lugar Bill particularly mentions that attacks outside of Pakistan that have been attributed to groups with Pakistani connections, including-- (i) the suicide car bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, which killed 58 people on June 7, 2008; and (ii) the massacre of approximately 165 people in Mumbai, India, including 6 United States citizens, in late November 2008. Clause relating to the nuclear issue is aimed at allowing US investigators access to individuals, such as AQ Khan, suspected of engaging in nuclear proliferation. It was reported in April 2008 that the US State Department reportedly proposed to the Pakistan Government to place one official permanently at the US embassy in Islamabad to deal with Pakistan's nuclear issues, and also that the official would have direct access to Pakistans National Command Authority (NCA) Secretariat.

Clause related to effective civilian control over the armed forces is self explanatory. Apparently on behest of Washington in July 2008 Zardari government abortively tried to put the powerful military-run spy agency, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), under civilian control. After the Mombai attacks of December 2008, Senator Kerry called for putting the ISI under civilian control.

It is all the more intriguing that the conditionalities contain names of cities and towns from where the Government of Pakistan is required to uproot the alleged terrorist training camps. By doing so the US has formalized its allegations about presence of so-called terrorist training camps and also that Pakistan's soil is being used for such activities against neighboring countries including India.

Tellingly, one billion dollars from the US aid to Pakistan is to be spent on upgrading US Embassy and Consulates.

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Abdus Sattar Ghazali Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

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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