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US lawmakers freeze $700 million to Pakistan as distrust grows

Discussion in 'The Americas' started by Himanshu Pandey, Dec 13, 2011.

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  1. Himanshu Pandey

    Himanshu Pandey Don't get mad, get even. STAR MEMBER

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    ISLAMABAD: A crisis in relations looked set to deepen after a US House-Senate negotiating panel agreed to freeze $700 million in US aid to Pakistan until it gives assurances it is helping fight the spread of improvised explosive devices in the region.

    Pakistan is one of the largest recipients of US foreign aid, and the cutback announced is only a small proportion of the billions in civil and military assistance it gets each year.

    But it could presage greater cuts as calls grow in the United States to penalise Islamabad for failing to act against militant groups and, at worst, helping them, following the secret US raid on a Pakistan military town in which al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was killed.

    Home-made bombs or improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are among militants' most effective weapons against US and coalition troops in Afghanistan as they struggle to fight a resurgent Taliban insurgency.

    Many are made using ammonium nitrate, a common fertilizer smuggled across the border from Pakistan. The freeze on US aid was agreed as part of a defense bill that is expected to be passed this week.

    The United States wants "assurances that Pakistan is countering improvised explosive devices in their country that are targeting our coalition forces", Representative Howard McKeon, a House Republican, told reporters.

    The United States has allocated some $20 billion in security and economic aid to Pakistan since 2001, much of it in the form of reimbursements for assistance in fighting militants.

    But US lawmakers have expressed increasing frustration with Pakistan's efforts in the war.

    There have been numerous proposals to make US aid to Pakistan conditional on more cooperation in fighting militants such as the Haqqani network Washington believes operate out of Pakistan and battle US troops in Afghanistan.

    But Pakistan's civilian leaders have in the past warned against aid cuts, saying it would only harden public opinion against the United States.

    It says it is doing all it can to fight al-Qaida and the Taliban and has lost thousands of soldiers since it joined the US-led war in 2001, some of them at the hands of coalition troops.

    Islamabad has accused NATO of deliberately killing 24 Pakistani soldiers in an air strike near the Afghan border last month and shut down supplies for foreign troops in Afghanistan in anger.

    The decision to freeze aid could prompt Pakistan to harden its stance towards Washington.

    "I think the Pakistan side will understand the type of signal that is coming, which shows it's not only a question of aid," said former general and security analyst Talat Masood.

    "The whole attitude of the US and the relationship will be affected by these measures because they know Pakistan will not be in a position to control the smuggling."

    US lawmakers said that many Afghan bombs are made with fertilizer smuggled by militants across the border from Pakistan into Afghanistan.

    "The vast majority of the material used to make improvised explosive devices used against US forces in Afghanistan originates from two fertilizer factories inside Pakistan," Senator John McCain, a Republican, said in the Senate last week.

    A Congressional Research Service report in October said the Pakistani factories, owned by one of the country's biggest companies, Pakarab, have been producing over 300,000 metric tonnes of ammonium nitrate per year since 2004.

    RAMPANT SMUGGLING

    The United States has urged Pakistan to strictly regulate the distribution of ammonium nitrate to Afghanistan. So far, Pakistan has only produced draft legislation on the issue.

    Analysts say US demands will be tough to meet because of rampant corruption on both sides of the border which makes smuggling easy.

    One businessman explained how easy it is to get through security posts along the porous border.

    "We pay a 1,200 rupees ($13) bribe to the Pakistani Frontiers Corps on the border for every car carrying fertilizer," said Kamal Khan in the town of Chaman near the border with Afghanistan.

    "Fertilizer is smuggled on trucks, pickup trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and donkey carts."

    Pakistan's fragile economy is heavily dependent on agriculture so cutting down on fertilizer output would hurt the sector.

    "If you say, 'ok you can only produce these ureas and you cannot produce the nitrates' it means you are going to impose unrealistic terms on Pakistan," said Amir Rana director of the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies.

    The provision freezing $700 million in aid was agreed upon by leaders of the armed services committees from both parties in the House and Senate, including McCain. It is part of compromise legislation authorizing US defense programs expected to be approved this week, McKeon said.

    He said the bill would also require the Pentagon to deliver a strategy for improving the effectiveness of US aid to Pakistan.


    US lawmakers freeze $700 million to Pakistan as distrust grows - The Times of India
     
  2. Manmohan Yadav

    Manmohan Yadav Brigadier STAR MEMBER

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    Well, US IS SHORT ON MONEY ANYWAY.
     
  3. satz

    satz Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    pak's all whether friend is there to provide fund for them...
     
  4. Himanshu Pandey

    Himanshu Pandey Don't get mad, get even. STAR MEMBER

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    no they give only soft loan
     
  5. Marqueur

    Marqueur Peaceful Silence ELITE MEMBER

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    as compared china's $ 3,201 billions in reserves .... 700m is a soft as a marshmallow loan ...
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  6. sanman

    sanman Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    During Pakistan's flood disaster, US gave Pakistan $700M in aid.
    China gave only $18M.

    There is a big difference between what US is willing to give to Pak, and what China is willing to give to Pak.
    Chinese didn't build up all that wealth by being suckers and lending to deadbeats.
    Everyone knows that Pakistan is just a black hole, incapable of paying back any loans. They live on aid, and can't live without it.
     
  7. sanman

    sanman Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  8. vikas jat

    vikas jat Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    why frezze just permenantly stop all aid
     
  9. sanman

    sanman Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    Because, having already burned their bridges with all others, the Americans are reluctant to break ties with their last route into Afghanistan - Pakistan.

    Therefore, Americans will continue to imagine they can "coax" Pakistan into doing what they want. (Meanwhile, pakistani and their 5th-columnist allies inside the US will actually coax the US into abandoning Afghanistan.)
     
  10. Jungibaaz

    Jungibaaz Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    My thanks to the US lawmakers. In fact I'd like them to cut all aid, not juts freeze some of it.

    Maybe it will help us stand on our own two feet, or on the other hand, a lot of the aid is taken by the ruling elite.
    It may also help us make more of an exit from the US' WOT and concentrate on our war and our country more.
     
  11. sanman

    sanman Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    Yes, Grass-Eaters of Pak unite - you have nothing to lose but your waistlines. :rolleyes:

    It once again brings back into focus what I previously stated, which is that someone who is making a living by prostituting themselves is then wondering why they're being treated cheaply. One shouldn't even have to look in the mirror to see why.

    Pakistan's attempts to "stand on its own feet" instead of renting itself out, will only lead its worthless self to try to find other ways to make a living -- such as by trying to sell its nuclear weapons in exchange for money. This will cause even more heartburn to the international community, and lead to a Western response that will hasten Pakistan's demise.

    Goodness knows that the Chinese sugardaddy is willing to let North Koreans starve rather than throwing money down their black hole. In China's view, it's only the North Korean army that needs to be kept alive anyway. So likewise, Pakistan's people are going to suffer a similar fate. The average pakistani will remember ruefully their previous macho promises to eat grass, as they enviously look at military men who'll be the only ones with full bellies.
     
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  12. sanman

    sanman Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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  13. Himanshu Pandey

    Himanshu Pandey Don't get mad, get even. STAR MEMBER

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    ^^ last comment is not good friend
     
  14. Jungibaaz

    Jungibaaz Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    lol.

    You do realize that the more Pakistan is abandoned financially, the less it takes part in the WOT. This is good for us.
    We spent $70 billion dollars on the WOT, and we lost all sorts of growth, investment and prosperity because of the impacts on security of the war.

    financially, they've ruined us. The aid is merely a small chunk of how much we lost during the war.
     
  15. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    A Tantrum Too Far

    December 14, 2011: The Pakistani military wants some respect. Actually it wants a lot of respect and wants Pakistanis to stop saying mean things about the generals and their pampered officers. It's been a bad year for the military's image. The biggest disaster was the American raid in May, where U.S. commandos landed at a compound not far from the Pakistani military college and killed Osama bin Laden, who had been living in the midst of Pakistani military facilities for years. That produced unusually loud criticism of the military, which led to some prominent journalists being threatened, jailed or killed. This only produced more anti-military reporting and popular outcries against the generals.
    There followed reports of an attempt by the civilian government to enlist American aid in a crackdown on the Pakistani military leadership. It's unclear who was behind this, but the generals were not amused. The generals were even more annoyed with more vocal criticism from American leaders (political and military) about the continued Pakistani military and intelligence support for Islamic terrorist groups. This was typified by the generals continually refusing to shut down two notorious terrorist sanctuaries (in the northwest in North Waziristan and in the southwest in Quetta). Then there was a November border incident where 24 Pakistani border troops were killed by return fire from across the border in Afghanistan. The generals declared that it was all too much and that the Americans (and Pakistani politicians) must change their tune, or else. The generals insisted that this attack was deliberate. To punish the Americans, the generals halted supply shipments into Afghanistan and cut military relationships with NATO. There were threats to shoot down CIA UAVs that had long operated over Pakistani terrorist sanctuaries. There have not been any UAV missile attacks since November 15th. NATO refused to apologize for the incident, and blamed Pakistani commanders for the friendly-fire losses. But the Pakistani military saw this as an opportunity to rally popular support and force the Pakistani government to stop pestering them about corruption and cooperating with Islamic terrorists.

    At the same time, more dire actions were threatened if the U.S. cut its military aid to Pakistan. American legislators are cutting the aid anyway. The Pakistani generals are threatening another coup if Pakistani politicians and voters don't deliver more support for the military. Many Pakistanis lined up behind the generals like they used to. Yet there is growing popular opposition to the generals, who have become a privileged caste. The military justifies all their privileges and immunities on the need to defend the nation from the threat of Indian invasion. But India has never been interested in invading. This is an invention of the Pakistani military, which would not do so well economically and politically without a major external threat. This has been a political scam of enormous proportions, and more Pakistanis are becoming aware of it. The generals are worried, which is why there are a growing number of rumors in Pakistan about another military takeover.

    It's not that the U.S. is getting more popular in Pakistan. Decades of anti-American propaganda have left its mark. But the generals are down in the polls, and the generals usually only see that kind of unpopularity when they are running the government (which has been about half the time since Pakistan was created in 1947.) It appears that the generals do not want to take over the government again, at least now just now. But they do want locals and foreigners to stop the criticism and demands.

    The Pakistani terror groups have noted all this tumult, and have reduced their terror attacks in Pakistan. The government publicly thanked the Taliban for this recently, giving rise to rumors of new peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban. But the terrorists don't need peace talks they just need to be left alone in the tribal territories, so they can resume building their own little religious dictatorship there. Once that is done, they can move into the rest of Pakistan and aid the Taliban in Afghanistan. But terrorist violence in Pakistan (usually in the tribal territories along the Afghan border) is down 40 percent so far this year. The military and police pressure on the terrorist groups, demanded by NATO and assisted by U.S. UAV attacks on terrorist leaders, had an impact. The terrorists were hurting, but now the military seems to have changed its mind about doing what the Americans wanted.

    President Zardari of Pakistan will remain in Dubail until the end of the month to recover from his recent heart attack. This makes the civilian government weaker against any bullying by the military. Zadari has usually been pro-American and hostile to the Pakistani generals.

    In Pakistan's largest city, Karachi, the violence has remained low, after a flare-up earlier this year left over a thousand dead. Religious and political militias are still there, but are locked down by a heavy police and paramilitary presence.

    The island nation of Seychelles has asked China to come in and establish a military base. It is hoped that will help keep Somali pirates away. The presence of these pirates has hurt the local economy, and any help is appreciated. Seychelles has already sent about a hundred of its troops to China for training. A year ago, a Chinese hospital ship visited and treated over a hundred people. Chinese warships going to, or from, Somalia have stopped for visits. But a base would be another matter, and something India wants to avoid. Seychelles is 1,500 kilometers off the African coast and 3,000 kilometers southwest of India. The Seychelles islands have a total population of 85,000 and no military power to speak of. They are largely defenseless against pirates. So are many of the ships moving north and south off the East Coast of Africa. Three years ago, Somali pirates began operating as far east as the Seychelles, which are a group of 115 islands off the east African coast. India has provided assistance to the Seychelles, as has NATO, but it apparently has not been enough. The Chinese are considering the request, but it seems likely that the Chinese Navy will only use the Seychelles for resupply and shore leave, and not build any base facilities. However, if the Chinese want to really annoy the Indians, a "base" of some sort will be built, and opened with great fanfare.

    December 11, 2011: In Indian Kashmir, a senior government official escaped an assassination attempt by a group of Islamic terrorists. One soldier was killed and eight more people were wounded. This was the first attack of this sort in Kashmir in several months. Terrorist violence in Kashmir is down nearly 50 percent for the year. There are still attempts by Pakistani Islamic terrorists to sneak across the border, but fewer of them and more of these crossings are detected and intercepted.

    December 10, 2011: U.S. military personnel finished pulling out of Shamsi air base in Baluchistan (southwest Pakistan). The base was one of several that the U.S. used to operate their UAVs from. But in the last year, the U.S. has moved most of these operations to Afghan bases. There is a minor advantage to using Pakistani bases for the UAVs, as they spend less time getting to their patrol areas on the Pakistani side of the Afghan border. In the past, Pakistan had demanded the U.S. withdraw from these bases, but the American personnel stayed. This time they left.

    December 9, 2011: In eastern India, Maoist rebels kidnapped seven men working on a bridge. The Maoists do this to discourage construction of transportation projects which make it easier for the police to get into Maoist controlled territory.

    December 6, 2011: President Zardari of Pakistan suffered a heart attack and was flown to Dubai for treatment.

    In India, Maoists carried out several days of attacks, leaving over 40 people killed or wounded. Railroad tracks were destroyed in several places, and police caught some Maoist bombers before the bombs could be set off. The Maoists are dealing with growing police pressure by making more attacks against highly visible targets (like the railroads). Attacks against the police are meant to intimidate the cops, and reminding everyone that the Maoists can kill police, and not just run from them
     
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