Biden proposes 4-point plan to ensure US aid flows only to Pak people

November 14th, 2007 - 10:19 am ICT by admin  

The first point of the proposal says that the US must triple non-security aid to 1.5 billion dollars annually for at least a decade. This aid would be unconditioned. It would be the US’ pledge to the Pakistani people, as, instead of funding military hardware, it would build schools, clinics, and roads.

In the second point, Biden says the US must condition security aid on performance and it should base security aid on clear results. He said that Washington was spending well over one billion dollars annually, and “it’s not clear we’re getting our money’s worth”.

His third point says that Washington must help Pakistan enjoy a “democracy dividend.” His plan says that the first year of democratic rule should bring an additional one billion dollars– above the 1.5-billion-dollar non-security aid baseline.

The last point of his plan calls upon the US to engage the Pakistani people, not just their rulers, which will involve everything from improved public diplomacy and educational exchanges to high impact projects that actually change people’s lives.

Laying out the plan, Biden compared the unrest in Pakistan to the situation in Iran in the 1970s, when Iranian students laid siege to the American embassy for 444 days in revolt to US intervention in local politics, by supporting Iranian leader Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.

“Pakistan has strong democratic traditions and a large, moderate majority. But that moderate majority must have a voice in the system and an outlet with elections. If not, moderates may find that they have no choice but to make common cause with extremists, just as the Shah’s opponents did in Iran three decades ago,” the Daily Times quoted Biden, as saying in his speech at Saint Anselm College on Thursday.

“But unlike Iran, Pakistan already has nuclear weapons,” he added.

“It is hard to imagine a greater nightmare for America than the world’s second-largest Muslim nation becoming a failed state in fundamentalist hands, with an arsenal of nuclear weapons and a population larger than Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and North Korea combined,” said Biden.

Reacting to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s repeated statements that his decision to suspend the Constitution and oust the country’s top judge were necessary to prevent a takeover by Islamic extremists, Biden said such moves, similar to those in Iran three decades ago, would only prove inviting to extremists.

He emphasised the need for a shift in the US policy from one focused solely on Musharraf to one based on Pakistan as a whole. (ANI)

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