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NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Pakistan got $1.1bn for fighting terrorism

ISLAMABAD, Nov 14: Pakistan received about $1.1 billion last year from the United States for the logistical support it provided for the counter-terrorism operations, including its own military operation mainly in Waziristan and other tribal areas along the Durand line.

According to a recent report of the Asian Development Bank, Pakistan received about $1.1 billion from the United States for logistical support.

And according to a report of the Congressional Research Services (CRS), updated on October 26, the United States disbursed about $3.7 billion to Pakistan for counter-terrorism operations during January 2002 to August 2005. Another $900 million would be provided to Pakistan during the current year and $739 million next year.

The next year’s amount is likely to be reduced by $150 million to about $590 million, owing to a reduction sought by the US House Appropriations Committee ostensibly for domestic budgetary reasons, not related to Pakistan.

The US Senate Appropriations committee, said the report, called for redirecting of the requested ($739 million) US economic aid to Pakistan towards development and democracy promotion programme. More so because the Democrats have gained ground in both houses and are critical of Bush policies.

Pakistan’s official budget documents give no details of these receipts.

The report said Pakistan was provided with $300 million in 2005 and would get a similar amount during the current year under the foreign military financing alone. A total of more than $15 billion in US economic and military assistance went to Pakistan from 1947 through 2005.

The Bush administration offered a $3 billion five-year aid package to Pakistan for becoming a frontline ally. Annual instalments of $600 million each split evenly between military and economic aid, began in 2005.

In his autobiography, President Musharraf wrote that the CIA had paid millions of dollars to Pakistan government as bounty money for capturing Al Qaeda operators from tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. About 359 of them were handed over to the United States. The whole affair was dropped from the Urdu version of President Musharraf’s book following Bush administration’s clarifications that the US law did not permit payment of bounty money to governments for capturing or providing information about person with head money on them.

The updated version of the report on Pakistan finalised by the CRS on October 26, 2006 said: "Rewards for participation in the post-September 2001 anti-terror coalition somewhat eased Pakistan's severe national debt situation, with many countries, including the United States, boosting bilateral assistance efforts and large amounts of external aid flowing into the country."

This challenges a government claim in Pakistan that the debt reduction was secured through home-grown economic policies and rescheduling of debt with the Paris Club ahead of 9/11.

It said the national economy of the poor country gathered significant momentum helped in large part by the government’s pro-growth policies and by post-2001 infusions of foreign aid.

The Dawn
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