‘Cornered’ Pak gets uppity over ‘intrusive’ US conditions in new AFPAK policy

April 11th, 2009 - 12:51 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Apr.11 (ANI): Pakistan has expressed its unhappiness over the ’stringed’ US aid, terming the conditions put under the new AFPAK policy as ‘intrusive’.

Addressing delegates at the Washington think-tank, the Atlantic Council, with his Afghan counterpart, Pakistan’s envoy to the United States Hussain Haqqani said America must understand the root cause of extremism in the region.

“Once again there’s talk of fixing Afghanistan and Pakistan. Please do not fix us. The world is not a problem for America to fix. The world is a place for the Americans to understand,” the Dawn quoted Haqqani, as saying.

Referring to the conditions attached in the Pakistan aid bill named the Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement or the PEACE Act of 2009, which was tabled in the US House of Representatives on April 2, Haqqani said: “There is a difference between accountability and intrusiveness. And that is something that needs to be understood.”

Defending the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) against charges of links with terror outfits, Haqqani said the agency must be made a part of the fight against extremism to make it more effective. Levelling charges against it would only aggravate distrust between both nations, he added.

“Mistakes have been committed on all sides. But this lack of trust will be addressed by talking to us, not by beating down on us,” he added.

Haqqani also criticized the Obama administration’s decision to announce hefty packages for several business houses that are on the verge of bankruptcy due to their mismanagement of assets during the current slowdown.

“A company at the verge of failure is quite clearly able to get a bigger bailout than a nation that has been accused of failure. That’s something that in this town needs a review,” he said.

In a show of defiance against the US, Haqqani informed that Islamabad is planning to ask for its own ‘Marshall Plan’ up to 30 billion dollars aid from its allies at the ‘Friends of Pakistan’ meeting in Tokyo which scheduled to be held on April 17.

Commenting on Obama’s suggestion to form a regional contact group for fighting extremists in the Pak-Afghan region, he said it is much better to solve issues bilaterally rather than creating a ‘logjam’.

Furthermore, Haqqani complained of excessive foreign involvement in the region due to which the border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan is facing such a turbulent situation currently.

“Al Qaeda is an external actor. Al Qaeda is not something that is indigenous to Pakistan and Afghanistan. These are people who came from outside, with an outside idea,” he said.

He added that the US led drone strikes must be carried out in partnership with Pakistan.

“The point is working out a mechanism whereby our concerns about sovereignty and collateral damage are addressed. We consider the US as partner and we expect them to consider us as partners,” Haqqani said. (ANI)

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