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Pakistan: The Kerry Lugar Bill

The Kerry Luger bill is essentially a non military aid package granted to Pakistan by the U.S in view of its precarious economic condition due to its indulgence in the war on terror as a front line allied state.

This bill grants Pakistan $1.5 billion annually for five years and comes along with stringent conditions on how to distribute and invest this money.

The conditions along with this bill come in the shape of military as well as economic checks which have instigated a lot of debate in this country and agitated its bloggers as well.

Shayan Khan at Pak Spectator writes an open letter to Mr. John Kerry:

Pakistan’s concerns over Kerry-Lugar bill are there for sure, but they are not that important. The chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee has backed a bill that would triple economic assistance for Pakistan, a key US ally in the fight against terrorism, to 7.5 billion dollars over five years. But it perhaps come as a surprise for the Kerry that Pakistanis don’t really think much of any aid or such things. They want US to take them as humans like themselves and to understand that the people dying from the drone Attacks are 99% Pakistanis, and only perhaps 1% are anything to do with militancy. (The) war on terror has given Pakistan the gory gifts of suicide attacks and bomb blasts and the economic life in Pakistan has come to a grinding halt.

Adil Najam talks about the trust deficit between Pakistan and the U.S.A in relation to the aid promised by this bill:

The debate we are now seeing is one more manifestation of the deep deficits of trust that have marked all US-Pakistan relations. In the absence of trust, Pakistanis – even those who might otherwise support this Bill – simply refuse to accept that America could possibly be interested in Pakistan’s interests. For the very same reasons, Americans – even those who strongly wish to see a stronger Pakistan – simply refuse to acknowledge the intensity with which Pakistan has always sought “friends, not masters.”

Hamid Abbasi at Chowrangi stresses on the general perception of this bill in Pakistan:

Being here nearly 10,000 miles away I and many like me have no real grudge with the amount, but it’s the conditionality of the bill which has really pinched every soul. For 8 years they have hijacked our national dream, have given us a war that wasn’t our originally, taken our sovereign right of existence and in the end they have repaid us in a manner which shouldn’t be strange to the realist, but of course we have for long turned into an idealist masses, linking false expectations and desires from an outside power.

After the announcement of this bill and its review by Pakistan's armed forces (perhaps the biggest power in this land), there were major reservations put forward to the political setup by them and these issues are being discussed with the U.S government.

Amjad Malik at Teeth Maestro comments on this issue pointing to the conditions put on Pakistan army:

This aid package may be doable or not but is quite indicative that civil rule is asked to do what it cannot deliver in 100 years, but may lose what it has got ‘the Govt’. In the past, President tried to be friend with India single-handedly but failed. Interior Ministry tried to bring (ISI) Inter Services Intelligence under its control, but in vain. Now committing to curb military and control its promotions is such a thorny issue which may cost the civilians its Govt and leaders their lives. We have seen what happened to Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif when they acted without consensus and consultation amongst political forces. One could not save his life and the other had to remain in exile for years.

Obviously the strong reaction from Pakistan has had its impact on the American citizen media as well, with commentators urging a rethink of dolling out aid without results.

Sheila Herrling at Huffington post talks about reworking the U.S aid program:

The Kerry-Lugar bill needs to make sure that the coherence of U.S. policies – how they either work in synergy or at cross-purposes — is evaluated and strengthened to get the biggest bang from our foreign assistance bucks.

Patricia Lee Sharpe takes it one comic step further by examining the bill as a Pakistani would on the  The whirled view. She notes:

Reading in my Pakistani persona, I found myself getting more and more angry.  I was in the mood to throw all 33 pages across the room—or maybe to rip them up and stomp on them. “Is nothing to be free of American meddling and dictation?” I find my Pakistani self raging. “It was fine, it was innocuous, back when the yahoos wanted to do a little project here, a little project there, a seminar, a conference, but scaled up like this!  They want to take over our whole life, beginning tomorrow!”

The blog Remember Jenkin's Ear just terms the whole bill as a major pain!

On balance, I'm inclined to wonder whether Kerry-Lugar is worth it. The Pakistanis seem to be really upset, the Indians are annoyed, and if it follows in the tradition of American foreign aid generally, it will be more helpful to Americans well placed to take advantage of the bill than to foreigners. The Pakistanis who object are correct that the conditions on this aid infringe Pakistani sovereignty. I think the Indians are also correct in suggesting that we probably cannot trust the Pakistan army. So on a practical level, this aid package is a can of worms. There is also an ethical issue. It is not obvious why Pakistanis should get the aid while Indians, who aren't tolerating groups planning terrorist attacks in the US, don't get similar aid.

With a major redraft of the irritating conditions in the Kerry Lugar bill in the offing and a military initiative in Waziristan is about to begin, it still remains to be seen who's ball will roll in who's court.

  • Rahul

    Pakistanis should atleast be thankful that they are getting monetary help which is like a beggar asking that it does not want food but money where the real concern was always that he is hungry..
    And again your ex prez openly admitted that the aid might be used against India ..its disgusting that you shud be getting the aid in the first place…Who the hell is Pakistan trying to fool….
    Thank God that you getting the money in the first place and not crib about it….Indians wont be surprised that this very aid will be used against Indians and not Taliban or terrorists….Unless Pakistan is not sincere with it own country no other country will be sincere with it…

    • Asam Chaudhry

      i think u didn’t studied the limitation and condition to use this aid. and u r unduly commenting about its usage against india.

  • Ashaindra

    How like America to throw money at the problem. I’m sure the Taliban have put two and two together and figured out that they’ve overstayed their welcome on Pakistani soil. So now that they can safely assume the Pakistani’s have been wholly bought by Uncle Sam, they’re on the enemy list too. Looks like doing business with America is bad for national health.

    http://www.newsy.com/videos/pakistan_attacks_what_it_means_for_the_u_s

    • adnan

      pakistan always thankfull to the nations, those are understanding the difficulties and helping the pakistan in this critical time of war on terror,as everyone knows the war on terror is not only the war of pakistan, as well as indian concern, i think, they should not be surprised, if the world participating in this common war on terror.
      pakistan is paying the price of war, and on the other hand india keep continnue the negative propeganda against pakistan, same as in the past,if india luckly not engaged in this war,it should come forward with pisitive thinking and admit the importance of kashmir’s dispute to bringe the peace in this reigon,this only possible,when india will agree to resolve the kashmir issue according to UN resulotion,then only we can live peacefully,and grow up.

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  • Jibran

    You missed the whole point of the blogs. No one is concerned about the aid or the amount, they are concerned about the conditions. This war on terror has been “enforced” on Pakistan by the strategic shenanigans performed by the US administrators. It didn’t used to be like it is in the country following the US invasion of Afghanistan. We are bearing the direct consequences of that. Pakistan is fighting the world’s war on terror as the front line state. So I’d say this is pretty much payment for the services performed by the country for the US. You quoted Musharraf, if you listened to the interview closely, he ALSO mentioned that this is not aid, it is payment for the services Pakistan is forcefully having to perform and its citizens have to bear, without wanting it. As far as the “sincerity” of India goes, it is pretty much evident in its completely “unbiased” media and its rhetoric surrounding the adverse events that happen to it, somehow always creeping in Pakistan into the equation. Sublime sincerity and sense of responsibility I would say.

    • sanjay bhatt

      with due respect to your patriotic sentiments, i understand your choice of words.
      you are following the same antiques and rhetorics that every pakistani politician is expert in: “blame thy neigbour” . as the general psychology goes , any one who is wrong obviously never admits it but to give it a veil finds or creates a fault of someone else , to project it in order to make oneself give a false feeling to oneself of not being indulgent. yet one knows and his God knows what is true. so how much or to what extent should we deliberate to prove each other wrong? there is no cure for a word spelt “no” you and i know our mistakes since 1940s but we wont admit . WE WILL JUST FOLLOW THE GOLDEN RULE – BLAME THY NEIGHBOUR.

  • A M

    The first thing I want to clarify is that I am a Pakistani, just so what I say against the views of the general Pakistanis is not seen as an Indian’s or any other foreigner’s perspective.

    I understand Pakistan is afraid that it might lose their control over the country as a result of this bill. The problem is, it is 8 years too late. Now that every major occurance in the country is a global highlight, we should not really be worrying about losing control. I do not really understand what part of the bill is really offensive to the general population, when we have witnessed it over and over again that our governments (regardless of who is in power and who is behind it) can not be completely trusted. In my opinion all the conditions in the bill are just ensuring and monitoring that the aid (or fee) is utilized in the right manner. Realistically speaking, since the people incharge are still vulnerable and capable of finding ways to misuse the money, I do not see anything wrong with external units monitoring the aid performance and utilization. With nothing to lose, for all we know, the right usage of the aid might benefit us. So far nothing is really going in our favor. Many a times it is because of our criticism. Now that the bill has been passed, it is useless wasting time discussing its cons. Now its time to use the aid in the way it has been intended for.

    Lastly, I have a question for the Indians commenting on this matter. Why so much hatred? There is no denial that your country has far surpassed us. You are considered as the next big economy of the world. You are part of the G8, perhaps one of the two strongest nations of the BRIC economy. Then why are you always so concerned about every matter in Pakistan? I think it is our typical way of thinking: ‘blame the enemy’. You do it to us and we to you, but think about it rationally, is it really right? You think Pakistan will use this aid against you. Maybe if we were in your shoes we would have thought the same. Its not your fault, neither is it ours. Its the culture where we grew in and were made to believe that the neighbour is the enemy. It is a 60 year old war, which we were never a part of. Yet the hatred is such like it had directly affected us. Think about it why would Pakistan really want to use it against you. We need to get out of this box and stop the blaming game. Politics is a pickle, something ordinary people like you and me cannot understand. For all we know the problem is your country are internal and not Pakistani propaganda. Same goes for the problems in our country. Its time we find the enemy within us, and that my friend is the hatred that was put into our heads as children.
    India experienced a massive blow in shape of the Mumbai incident. Honestly, I was sad and was stuck to the TV praying for it to get sorted. But do not forget Pakistan experiences the same blow every single day, some days even multiple. You read these articles about Pakistan, which in my opinion are not really about you and show hatred. If you are reading these articles because you are concerned, then be concerned about the problems we are facing because no country deserves it! Neither you or us!

    • pathik jain

      Dude,
      I must say, your nation has one good human in you.
      I am a proud Indian, and I like your views.
      This war is not ours, yet we suffer it everyday :)
      Hopefully, the two nations will evolve, for the better.

    • M.U

      I hope your response to Sanjay Bhutt will hit the bottom of the heart of many who speak like Sanjay. Issues could not be resolved with negative approach. Time has proved that fighting does not resolve the problem, struggle does. We (India/Pakistan)need constant struggle to make peace among us.

      GOD bless the people of India and Pakistan to be good friends one day. ( I may not live to see that, but my children wiil)

  • AS

    AM you are absolutely right. Politics is a pickle and we do not even know the underhand negotiations and deals the countries go through, and yet we want to involve in this blame game. We need to fight the enemy within us.

    Besides, it is true that there is nothing wrong with the monitoring. What’s wrong with ensuring that the money is utilized properly. After all what have we achieved as a nation without monitoring. The US has also agreed to channel these funds through the government rather than USAID and the NGOs. What more can the government possibly want…

  • http://www.raastah.com Musaafir

    Given what it is, and not going into the nitty gritty details of the deal, overall this stance by both sides is completely understandable and considering this business as usual, both sides are, and should, haggle over the price and the services that are to be delivered in return. That is exactly what is going on right now. The only difference is that this is the first time Pakistan has haggled over the price of the goods being asked for and I think this is good for business overall.

  • Prashant

    I am an Indian. I am perfectly agree with AM. Lets forget the rivalry between India and Pakistan knowing that these politicians (from both sides) will never let this happen.

  • GHULAM GHOUS (ZAHEER ANWAR)

    THIS IS THE SATANIC ACT AGAINST PAKISTAN. PAKISTAN IS NOT SO WEAKER COUNTRY AS SOMEONE THINK. NOW, IT IS TIME TO DEFEND ALL NATION UNANIMOUSLY AGAINST THIS ” KERRY KILLER BILL ” AS WELL AS DEFEND STRONGLY TO THOSE INNER ENEMIES OF PAKISTAN WHETHER THEY ARE IN THE GOVERNMENT OR ELESEWHERE.
    AND NOW IT IS TIME TO WASHED OUT THOSE HIDDEN AND OPEN ENEMIES OF PAKISTAN AND MUSLIM UMMA. IN FUTURE WE MUST PLAN CAREFULLY NOT AND NEVER CHOSE THESE PERSONS IN COMING GENERAL ELECTIONS/MID-TERM ELECTIONS. THIS IS THE LAST TIME TO AWAKE OURSELVES LEST WE WILL LOSE THE BATTLE.
    AND NOW THIS IS TIME TO REJECT THOSE PARTIES WHO EXPOSED THEMSELVES. AND NOW IT IS TIME TO CHOSE SOME PIOUS, HONEST AND DEVOTED PERSONS TO SERVE PAKISTAN.
    REVOLUTION IS ON THE VERGE AND WAITING SOMEONE FOR PEACEFUL REVOLT.
    PAKISTAN IS THE 8TH ATOMIC POWER OF THE WORLD. IT IS INSHA ALLAH ALWAYS INVINCIBLE. NO ONE INCLUDING USA CAN AND NEVER OVERCOME IT BY THEIR EVIL DESIGNS.

    • Malik

      Dude, chill out. Drink some coke and take a deep breath, it is only a bill.

      • Asam Chaudhry

        hay malik..it is not just only a bill. it is action also

  • adnan

    well we are nuclear power and we cant afford any sort of jurisidictions externally laid upon us .what all that is happening since last 9 years,every body is fully aware now by agreeing upon kerry lugger means getting ourselves restricted to the american policies for 5 more years.we are sovereign state and we wont let any body to interrupt in our affairs .we can manage to handle our military affairs and economy.demand of time is to be united and should stand like rock against any hurdle which even dares to think about our itegrity with wrong notions

    • masihi banda

      Adanan

      The Artful Beggars:

      I am an ex-Pakistani now living in the United States of America as a citizen. Let me tell you living in Pakistan was hell for me and for my family. Pakistanis and their Govt. are such hypocrites that I can not even begin to describe their sorry state of affairs. They are such cunning artful beggars who thrive on corruption and jihad. Their rule of thumb is to keep picking America’s pockets for any loose change. Pakistan has always been a beggar state for the West, and specially a big crumb snatcher of the US. If Pakistan was such a proud nation why do they keep sending their representatives to beg for more, more and more, and never to pay it back. Honestly it is quite sickening. Where is the pride in it?

      Yes you have a nuclear bomb, so what. How does it benefit you? It doesn’t make you any bigger or better. It only pours more salt on the open wounds of the hurting nation. You have already lost East Pakistan, and now are you willing to lose West Pakistan to the Arabs? I don’t think India will stand idly by and let it happen. The sad thing is you have the bomb and perhaps would use it against other nations or simply hand it over to the terrorists. Pakistanis are well known in playing the terrorist card with self-defeating results; from the mosques to Islamabad the dirty game of corruption is played out to the fullest, consciously undermining the rights and freedom of the people. And yet no one is ashamed of their evil deeds. Let me ask you a very simple question, Is Pakistan or any Muslim country capable of fostering democracy? My answer is big NO. Simply because Islam doen’t teach merits of peace or democracy. Look it up, the history of Pakistani terrorist acts speaks volumes.

      Now don’t be jealous of India, they have taken giant steps to uplift their country out of failed policies. They are doing so much better than Pakistan in terms of democracy, economy, and education. They have consistently demonstrated both in word and deed that India is a model democracy. The most Important tool India has adopted is the rule of ‘separation of church and state’ and have reaped the rewards almost immediately and now is the power to be reckoned with. I’m afraid, Pakistan has no such luck. It is shackled by it’s own draconian sharia and blasphemy laws. The image of Pakistan is so tarnished that it may find it hard to get out this cesspool.

      The holy Bedouin brothers are making a holy mess in Pakistan, yet the Pakistanis turn their blind eye, and let them systematically destroy Pakistan. Just look at what’s happening in Pakistan right now, a total chaos and desolation. And nobody cares. When your imams and the govt. are a major part of corruption nobody in their right mind is going to respect you or take you seriously. Muslims love to play the blame game but never do anything to improve themselves or their countries. It’s about time things change in Pakistan for the good of the country.

      • Asam CHaudhry

        hay masihi…….what the hell u r writing. Pakistan will always be in the map of world.

        • masihi banda

          Hey Asam!

          Dude, Pakistan may be on the map now but its stability and longevity is in serious trouble. Thanks to its sharia and blasphemy laws, that’s the hell I am talking about. Asam always remember that It’s the ‘bigotry bug’, the parasite that is slowly eating away at the country’s existence from inside out.

          Consequently, Pakistan is devoid of substance as an honorable nation. ‘Paksitan’ means a sacred land but look at what it has become now: the land of terror and violence; nation that foster evil rather than good, a living hell for minorities. It’s a nation of people who lust after bloodthirsty Bedouin ideology and look where it’s gotten us, a total failure.

          Pakistan is a land of my forefathers and my ancestors. It was so beautiful and so peaceful, yes a land flowing with ‘milk and honey’ before Islam ever touched its doors. Look at what it has become now. It saddens me to see its desolation and demise carried out in the name of religion.

          • Muhammad Ali Saleem

            If true Islam had ever been followed in Pakistan , it would have been a land of peace but unfortunately its leaders never imposed true shariah. how could have they imposed it , they dont even aany law regarding Islam and its laws. pLEASE DONT MAKE BAD COMMENTS ABOUT Islam. u should first research about Islamic laws and then make any comment.

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