Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Goodies only for the Khakis?

A reader (I. M. Khalil) today made reference to Frédéric Grare’s (of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace) recent report on the situation in Pakistan. Among the many points raised by Grare the most notable, in your Blogger’s view, was that:

“Of the 10 billion dollars of assistance which Pakistan has received since 9/11, only 900 million has been spent on development, while the rest has been consumed by the military.”

This is simply mind boggling. It shows that our Dictator has spent 91% of the funds provided by the US to keep his uniformed constituency in clover.

Here is a summary of the report:

Frédéric Grare of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace tells the West to get serious about a civilian-led government for Pakistan. The current military government has facilitated the global spread of jihad to an extent that far outweighs its cooperation against terrorism.

The military regime in Pakistan is responsible for the escalation of terror in Kashmir, the growth of international jihad extremism and the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, says Grare. By supporting and training those very forces which NATO is currently fighting, Islamabad’s long-term aim is to force the West to accept its military government as a necessary evil in the fight against radical Islam.

So far, the US has refrained from exerting external pressure on Pervez Musharraf, who toppled the democratically elected government in 1999, even though he has routinely gone against the Pakistani constitution. Two prominent violations include his dual appointment as president and army chief and his suspension of Pakistan’s chief justice. Corruption remains widespread, and has worsened under Musharraf’s tenure. Of the 10 billion dollars of assistance which Pakistan has received since 9/11, only 900 million has been spent on development, while the rest has been consumed by the military.

Recommended Policy Changes

1. Because the existing military regime is the root of the problem, Pakistan should be pressured to return to the civilian-led government stipulated in its constitution. The US can promote further democratic developments in Pakistan by ceasing to campaign against political Islamist parties there. A separation of the military and political functionalities of the presidency could also mean that the US could end up dealing with a democratic government in future which enjoys public support.

2. The US and other countries should set clear cooperation standards for Pakistan and withhold financial aid if these are not met. Such standards would include the elimination of all domestic terrorist infrastructure and the prohibition of military cooperation with the Taliban, the latter to preclude further peace agreements like that reached with tribal Talib in northern Pakistan in 2006.

3. If the first two policies are not sufficient to alter Islamabad’s behaviour, sanctions which target the military elite and not the general population should be imposed. This has successfully worked in the past, especially when withholding weapons from the military.

How It Could Backfire
Any new US stance on Pakistan could set off two major booby traps:

1. The US is unlikely to be able to alter existing policy without spurring at least short-term terrorism in Afghanistan and/or northern Pakistan. A US threat to disengage from Pakistan’s military government or impose sanctions would leave Islamabad with less incentive to crack down on terrorist groups. The shift in enforcement could be interpreted among insurgents, particularly the Taliban, as a victory against the West.

2. The links between the US and Pakistani intelligence agencies are quite tight, as is the cooperation between both countries’ defence ministries. A change in policy could end long-established cooperative efforts such as the routine handover of Taliban fighters to Afghan officials, the deployment of 80,000 Pakistani troops to the country’s Western border to fight the Taliban, and aid to CIA operations hunting terrorist suspects on Pakistani territory who are wanted by the US.

The People’s Responsibility
All of Grare’s policy recommendations are in the service of long-term, ambitious goals that will ultimately depend on the existence of a vibrant civilian leadership to occupy the “political space” they will create. Any increase in action by civil society groups and politically active individuals must originate from the Pakistani society itself. The protests against the suspension of the Chief Justice, led by lawyers all over the country, are an encouraging sign. But Pakistan still has a long way to go, as these demonstrations then turned violent, leaving hundreds dead—not least because of fierce reaction by the police and military.

For the complete report (in PDF) click here: 'Rethinking Western Strategies toward Pakistan: An Action Agenda for the United States and Europe’


AAS said...

I don't agree totally with this assesment and so called solution to Pakistan's ill.

Calling the regime as the prime creator of terror is going a bit far.

And the report does not mention the terror and killings inflicted by the US and Nato on many civilians on both the afghan and Pak side.

I hate MUSH but i don't like our of sovereignty being impuned by another nation. Have we forgotten that Obama wants to invade Pakistan and Hill would not rule out using nukes?

Come on ONLOOKER. I expect so much more from you. If Pakistan is a terror state then the US is right up there with us. :)

I am a US citizen so i do get all the advantages of democracy but that does not mean America is serious in exporting it to Pakistan(hello MUSH is propped up by who?) We need to do it ourselves!

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