Congressmen slam Bushs mindless aid to Pak for fighting terror sans results

May 7th, 2008 - 1:44 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, May 7 (ANI): The US aid program that has reimbursed Pakistan’s military to the tune of six billion dollars since 2001 (following 9/11 attacks) has come under severe criticism from Congressional Democrats, who call it too costly without demonstrating results.

They said that the US administration was mindlessly giving away money to Pakistan in the hope that they will help fight the al Qaeda in its territory.

The Bush administration has basically been shoveling taxpayer money to Pakistan, no questions asked, crossing its fingers and hoping that our al-Qaida problem goes away, The News quoted Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, as saying.

Democratic Senator Tom Harkin said future aid dollars must include strict guarantees that the money would be used for anti-terrorism and was making Americans safer. They lack a plan, they seem to lack oversight and they do not seem very concerned about it, said Harkin about Bush administration.

Since the 9/11 air attacks, the US has provided Pakistan some 10.8 billion dollars in aid to Pakistan, out of which 5.6 billion dollars has gone toward reimbursing Pakistan’s military for combat operations, particularly into unpoliced tribal areas along the border. About 1.5 billion dollars has paid for military training and equipment, while the rest of the money is devoted to economic aid and other priorities such as legal reform and local police training.

Democrats say the 5.6 billion dollars in coalition support funds was intended initially as a short-term solution to getting Pakistan to help U.S. anti-terror efforts. Since the program’s inception, however, it has become almost impossible to determine whether the money was being spent wisely.

The more I learn about this program, the more convinced I become that (it is) the wrong approach, said Rep. John Tierney, another Democrat, who chairs the House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform national security and foreign affairssub committee.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is expected to release results at midyear of its investigation into the program. In one of its preliminary reports released on Tuesday, GAO reiterated Pakistan had been unable to defeat terrorists inside its borders despite the influx of US cash. It found that the Pakistani security forces are not structured to target an insurgency and face equipment and training deficiencies. (ANI)

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