Restraint on Counter Insurgency Funds….a Blessing In Disguise?
by Yasmeen Ali
The statement “Pakistan Must Do More” made by the US Secretary of State has become a joke in Pakistani drawing rooms.
Pakistan must do more?
The 9/11 attacks resulted in 2,996 deaths. Out of this, 246 on the planes,2606 in towers and on ground, 126 at the Pentagon. The attack justified invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq & attacks on the “ally on war of terror”, Pakistan. USA has come a long way since. The policy of extrajudicial killings survived the Bush era in post 9/11 and has intensified from an estimated 45 attacks to 200 under Obama. Few killed in these attacks have been militants, mostly civil casualties. According to the New American Foundation only 2% of deaths have been of the militants. But that’s ok. That’s why the term “collateral damage” was coined, no?
Pakistan Army has been engaged in a non conventional war since then. Fighting against an enemy within. Parts of Pakistan lies destructed, millions displaced, civil amenities destroyed with increasing pressure on Pakistan to now target South Waziristan.
However, Pakistan needs to “Do more or else”?
In an article carried by Pakhtoonistan Gazette on 10th April 2011, Muhammad Tahir comments on the White House Report claiming that Pakistan has no “clear path” to defeat militants on it’s soil.
My humble submission, dear readers, is, neither does USA.
However, Pakistan needs to “Do More”. Or else!
To ensure Pakistan does”do-more”, US lawmakers approved tougher scrutiny over the $1.1 billion counterinsurgency funds for Pakistan. Congress will have 30 days to review administration spending plans before 75% of the funds can be released.
Democratic Representative Norman Dicks is bull’s eye when he says that a choice must be made where to spend the funds. On American people. Or on foreign wars. “I think that is a choice we are all going to have to consider in the days ahead,” he said. True! However, the “ally on war of terror” has no such right to prioritize the needs of their country!
Pakistan must “Do More” or else!
The Kerry Lugar Bill, already stipulated that for the fiscal years 2011 through 2014, no security-related assistance may be provided to Pakistan in a fiscal year until the Secretary of State, under the direction of the President, makes the certification required under the bill provision, for such fiscal year.
However, Pakistan must “Do More”, or else!
A friend wrote,” Pakistan has been relegated to the level of a “tea boy” working in the street restaurant for it’s master. The tea boy must do to his master’s bidding……or else….!”
What must Pakistan do?
For starters, try developing some dignity and stop being so damn apologetic. After that, strengthening her position in the South West Asia Region. Developing trade and other treaties with countries like Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Bangladesh & China. Of course any closeness with China will be frowned upon by the restaurant owner, who may decide to deduct the tea-boy’s pay on some pretext at the end of the month. A risk worth taking?
Should Pakistan look towards Germany for arms sales? Germany is a rising power in the arms trade business. A study by the U.S. Congressional Research Service puts Germany, with an 8 percent share of the global market, at No. 3 behind the United States (41 percent) and Russia (10.5 percent).
One thing Pakistan needs to do pronto: stop expecting others to look after HER national interests. This is the task of Pakistan herself. Not others! Unless, she wants to remain the “tea-boy” for the rest of the “war on terror?”
Yes Pakistan must “Do More”. However, not by anyone else’s definition but by her own!
About the Author: Yasmeen Ali is a lawyer based in Lahore, Pakistan. She teaches in a University and can be reached at [email protected]