"In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

U.S. Secretary of State Clinton Offers $500 million In Aid to Doubtful Pakistanis

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2010 at 9:24 am

Oldspeak: “The Pakistanis are hip to the U.S. Game. Throw money at the problem. It’s what the U.S. does best. Nevermind we bomb the shit out of your civilians with drones, take half a billion dollars for your trouble. With the countless billions in “Aid” the U.S. sends to its proxies, satellites and “strategic partners”, on top of billions spent on war and “intelligence” its little wonder the U.S. is the world’s biggest debtor nation. Meanwhile here at home states are going bankrupt, infrastructure is deteriorating, teachers, cops and other civil servants/services are being cut left and right.”

From Jay Solomon @ The Wall Street Journal:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unveiled more than $500 million in development projects for Pakistan, as the Obama administration seeks to use aid to build broader support for the war against al Qaeda and the Taliban.

In television appearances and town halls during a two-day stay here, however, Mrs. Clinton continued to face substantial resistance from a public skeptical that the U.S. is prepared for a long-term commitment to help develop Pakistan.

The verbal sparring between the former first lady and her Pakistani interlocutors wasn’t nearly as sharp as during an October tour. Then, students and journalists roundly chastised Mrs. Clinton for U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas, while she questioned Pakistan’s commitment to capturing senior al Qaeda leaders.

But on issues ranging from transferring technology to trade, Mrs. Clinton heard charges that the U.S. has a double standard its policies toward the Islamic world, and tilts decisively in favor of Pakistan’s rival, India. She left Pakistan for Afghanistan Monday, saying she was heartened by the improving dialogue, but acknowledging it will take more than financial handouts to shift Pakistan’s population firmly into the American camp.

Mrs. Clinton will attend an international conference on Afghanistan Tuesday before heading to North Asia. She will join U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates to visit the Korean Demilitarized Zone that divides North and South Korea on Wednesday, Mr. Gates said during a trip to South Korea.She had dinner Monday with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and met the Pentagon’s military commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus. Mrs. Clinton told reporters en route that she would focus at the conference on combating corruption and supporting Mr. Karzai’s efforts to reconcile with elements of the Taliban.

In her meetings with Mr. Karzai, Mrs. Clinton discussed a range of issues, including governance and development issues, with an emphasis on delivering services, a State Department official said. Meeting one-on-one, the two discussed the transition to Afghan control, reconciliation with the Taliban and reintegrating the Taliban into Afghan society, as well as regional matters, the official said.

As for her stay in Pakistan, Mrs. Clinton told reporters traveling with her to Kabul that “the range of our discussion was much broader than last October,” which is an improvement. “I could feel the change.”

The Obama administration took office last year vowing to win the hearts of minds of Pakistanis who are standing on the front lines of Washington’s war against Islamic militancy. In October, Congress authorized $7.5 billion in nonmilitary aid for Pakistan, which is being disbursed in tranches over the next five years. This marks a tripling of U.S. civilian support for Pakistan compared with support during the George W. Bush administration.

Mrs. Clinton offered the State Department’s most extensive accounting yet of its plans to invest the money. While attending the second gathering of the Obama administration’s “strategic dialogue” with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari’s government, Mrs. Clinton said the plans were derived from extensive consultations between the U.S. and Pakistan’s government and civil society. The discussions occurred over the past six months and concerned 13 developmental sectors.

In her meetings with Mr. Karzai, Mrs. Clinton discussed a range of issues, including governance and development issues, with an emphasis on delivering services, a State Department official said. Meeting one-on-one, the two discussed the transition to Afghan control, reconciliation with the Taliban and reintegrating the Taliban into Afghan society, as well as regional matters, the official said.

As for her stay in Pakistan, Mrs. Clinton told reporters traveling with her to Kabul that “the range of our discussion was much broader than last October,” which is an improvement. “I could feel the change.”

The Obama administration took office last year vowing to win the hearts of minds of Pakistanis who are standing on the front lines of Washington’s war against Islamic militancy. In October, Congress authorized $7.5 billion in nonmilitary aid for Pakistan, which is being disbursed in tranches over the next five years. This marks a tripling of U.S. civilian support for Pakistan compared with support during the George W. Bush administration.

Mrs. Clinton offered the State Department’s most extensive accounting yet of its plans to invest the money. While attending the second gathering of the Obama administration’s “strategic dialogue” with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari’s government, Mrs. Clinton said the plans were derived from extensive consultations between the U.S. and Pakistan’s government and civil society. The discussions occurred over the past six months and concerned 13 developmental sectors.

At a town hall held at an Islamabad cultural center, Mrs. Clinton seemed amused when Faisal Malik, artistic director of the Thespians Theater, asked if the U.S. could invest more in his country’s theater programs. Sana Mehmood, a young civil servant, said she hoped the American embassy would continue sponsoring local soccer teams.

Still, Pakistan’s mistrust toward the U.S. showed through on a range of issues far removed from the conflict against the Taliban. Pakistani businessmen grumbled about Washington’s failure to significantly increase quotas for their products almost 10 years after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks forced Washington and Islamabad into a new alliance. A Pakistani journalist criticized the U.S. for not directly mediating an end to Islamabad’s water dispute with India over the Indus River.

A special fixation among Mrs. Clinton’s questioners Monday was why the U.S. wasn’t supporting Pakistan’s developments of nuclear power. Many noted that the U.S. completed a civil-nuclear agreement with India last year.

In her sharpest exchange, Mrs. Clinton pointed out to Sameer Cader, an Islamabad businessman, that the Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan oversaw the world’s biggest black market in nuclear wares. “Now, I just want to be very candid with you, because that’s the nature of our relationship,” Mrs. Clinton said. “There are certain issues that will have to be addressed. They cannot be overlooked or put under the carpet.”

A headline in Pakistan’s ultra-nationalist English-language paper, “The Nation,” underscored the views of some of the more skeptical Pakistanis towards the secretary of state’s aid drive.

” ‘Bribery’ Not to Alter Anything, Mrs. Clinton,” the headline read.

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