‘Pak, Afghanistan will have to pay a price for the US aid’

March 29th, 2009 - 8:35 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama London, Mar. 29 (ANI): Hamid Karzai and Asif Ali Zardari may have welcomed US President Barack Obama’s new strategy on Afghanistan and Pakistan (now called AfPak in Washington), but experts have warned that both the South Asian countries will have to pay a fair price in exchange of the US aid.

According to Afghan President Karzai, the proposal for increased civil and military aid was “better than they were expecting.”

However, the new American policy of reaching compromises with Taliban in Afghanistan, though touted as the best way of avoiding more civilian casualties, will surely invite criticism from those who say the loss of hundreds of Western troops has been in vain, The Independent reports.

Meanwhile, Pakistan President Zardari too backed the new US strategy, which will give his country 7.5 billion dollars in non-military aid in exchange of not letting terrorists use Pakistan as safe havens.

Zardari also accepted US suggestion of ending the political uncertainty in Pakistan by welcoming the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Party’s return in the key province of Punjab.

Yet the Obama administration’s proposals are far from uncontroversial, the reports claims.

“We have a clear and focused goal to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future,” The Independent quotes Obama, as saying on Friday.

Obama administration is believed to extend the contentious use of drone missiles into Baluchistan province, which is believed to be the base of many senior militants.

Expert claimed, in the report, that such a move would increase anti-American feeling, and would be very damaging for the civilian government.

“At this point the Americans feel that paying off Pakistan has not helped. So it’s time to use the other tactic, and raise the cost for Pakistan of non-cooperation,” said Ayesha Siddiqa, a military analyst. (ANI)

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