Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Implications of Kerry-Lugar Bill on Pakistan

The of the United States against Pakistan are very dangerous. In order to understand the Kerry-Lugar Bill, it is essential to be aware of the backdrop of this story. When we became the US ally, she started making long-term agreements with India all at once, which made us cynical and the world also started saying that they will leave Pakistan alone once again. At that time, present Vice President Joe Biden said that they would not leave Pakistan alone and that unconditional nonmilitary aid will be given to Pakistan for 10 years in order to maintain a long-term relationship.

This bill was unanimously approved in July 2008, but then it was postponed. Its purpose was to give the impression that Pakistan will not be left alone. But the duration of this bill was allowed to pass and no ultimate decision was taken on it. During this time, India managed to further strengthen its ties with the United States and Pakistan was presented with the revised Kerry-Lugar Bill.

The 10-year-period was reduced to five years and then this condition was imposed that Pakistan will be presented with a certificate each year to ensure that it is complying with the conditions, which means that this aid could stop anytime as was the case with the five-year aid to Ziaul Haque during the Reagan era. When Gorbachev announced his withdrawal, the certificate condition was imposed for each year to ensure whether we are fulfilling the conditions under the Pressler Amendment or not. This aid was discontinued from the day the Soviet forces left Afghanistan. Likewise, there is a condition that says that Pakistan will not sponsor terrorism in Afghanistan and India. It appears from the language of the bill as if Pakistan should be ashamed for sponsoring terrorism in India and Afghanistan and this is all happening on the US commands. If we don't get aid, we would have to beg the United States for it, and India and Afghanistan can use a minor incident as an excuse to put an end to it.

US Objectives
As soon as the US objectives are achieved, it will stop this aid through the use of premeditated allegations. In light of the experiences of the past, they can do it. Therefore, if the objectionable conditions are not taken out from this bill, Pakistan should reject it straight away because half of $1.5 billion aid will be spent on fulfilling their conditions.

After rejecting it, the United States will definitely provide us with unconditional aid because when Ziaul Haque rejected $400 million aid, calling it peanuts, the United States agreed to pay a bigger amount. As long as we consider this war as our war, we will keep suffering.

Financial Losses to Pakistan
These days, overseas Pakistanis are sending us more money than this aid. If more attention is paid to their priorities, they will send more. For example, if they send foreign exchange in the form of dollars, they should be paid 2 rupees extra for each dollar, then see how rapidly foreign exchange reserves will go up. At the moment, overseas Pakistanis are sending $8 billion worth of foreign exchange each year. If more incentives were offered to them, they would be able to send more. The foreign exchange is sent by those poor Pakistanis who went abroad seeking employment. The rich people of this country send their money abroad. The National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) is an example of this. It is repeatedly said that if the national wealth reserved abroad is brought back to the country, the fortune of the country could change. The rich people even bring back their money through "reference," which is not beneficial for the country. In addition to the language, the conditions of this bill are also humiliating.

The US clarification is just a formality; $1.5 billion aid per year is just an excuse. Out of these $1.5 billion, $200 million will be spent on the supervision of this aid. Pakistan will only get $1.3 billion. If this amount is divided by Pakistan's population, it is just $6 per person per year, which is equal to 650 rupees per year. During the last month of September, overseas Pakistanis sent a foreign exchange of $806.12 million and until September, this amount of foreign exchange sent by the overseas Pakistan has risen to $2.332 billion. Last year, overseas Pakistanis sent $1.88 billion to Pakistan without imposing any humiliating conditions. The same Pakistanis sent $780.55 million in August. All these figures have been obtained from the State Bank.

Failure of Pakistani Diplomats
The people whose interests are not associated with Pakistan do not work for Pakistan's interests. If this was the case, what was the point of so much secrecy in the matter? This bill is our failure even without the conditions.

The agreement was made for a 10-year strategic partnership, which was reduced to five years and then conditions such as these were included in order to end it any year.

Operation in Waziristan
The government is more willing than the United States at present. I don't under stand why the government is in a hurry to start operations everywhere. The military conducted the Swat operation and gained success; the US and Indian agents were eliminated from there. The Swat operation did harm to the US and Indian interests. If the military conducts an operation in Waziristan, it should be in Pakistan's interests. It will be dangerous to send the military early into Waziristan without any preparations. Operation is not the solution to every problem. The Kerry-Lugar Bill has specifically targeted the Pakistani military. It is the greatest wish of India and Israel to make the ISI ineffective. These severe conditions have been included in this bill on their behest. If the United States makes this bill unconditional, it will face resentment from both India and Israel. India is making full use of the situation. China, on its part, has offered to supply Pakistan with the resources to deal with terrorism.

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