� Got no time | Main | Twain not meeting �

Friday, July 03, 2009

Kerry-Lugar Bill (S.962)

Before I get to the topic of this blog post, I just want to say that I was reading the letters to the editor in The News International in Rawalpindi (near Islamabad), Pakistan, and I was thrilled to discover their letters to the editor are so much like ours in tone and substance. Now, on to the particular letter that caught my eye and is the subject hereof:

On what conditions?
Friday, July 03, 2009
The US Senate has passed the Kerry Logar Bill under which Pakistan will get $1.5 billion. But I want to know on what conditions this aid will be provided to us.
We, as Pakistanis, have every right to know as to what sort of aid we are getting and on which conditions.
The terms and conditions of the Kerry Logar Bill should be thoroughly discussed in the parliament and the media should highlight the pros and cons of this aid.
Zaheera Ameer Ahmed

Oh, Zaheera, you're reading our minds! We can't agree more. We, as citizens of the United States, also want to know under what conditions we will be giving you our hard-earned U.S. taxpayer money, and what you're going to do with it once you get it.

My personal preference for following what the U.S. Congress is considering is the OpenCongress web site. It has all the information we should need to learn everything and more about the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009. The text of the bill is here, as it passed in the Senate. (You can comment on individual paragraphs there.) It should be noted that this bill still has to go to the House of Representatives, and if passed there, on to the President before it becomes law.

So, it's relatively easy to get educated on these matters. As for getting it discussed in the media and debated by the citizens of our respective countries, well, that's another story (a/k/a difficult task).

One thing I never hear talked about in regard to the relationship between Pakistan and the United States is Pakistan's nuclear program. I don't know why. But, I wonder if this might be a good time for Paksitan to share some oversight of its nuclear facilities with the United States. Don't worry, it's not in the bill. And it's not likely to happen unless the President or the Secretary of State somehow manage it after the bill is passed into law. Other than that, I personally believe this would be money well spent. However, I'm willing to be persuaded otherwise if someone has a good reason. Or, if Pakistan doesn't want it.

Edit to add: If Pakistan doesn't want the money, we may have a whole different set of problems. And, for those who don't already know, the United States has been bombing inside Pakistan's borders on an almost weekly basis since well before Barack Obama became president.

Posted by Marie at July 3, 2009 4:05 PM


Pakistan would never "share" oversight of its nuclear facilities (weapons) with the U.S. They are a sovereign nation. However, the relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan is far closer than either party would ever openly admit - and it has been for a very long time. Now is the time for increased aid for Pakistan, and hopefully most of it ends up usefully employed in developing its badlands where poverty combined with religious fanaticism has destabilized the region.

Posted by: Jerome Prophet at July 9, 2009 12:33 AM

The USA has a right to ask how its "hard-earned tax-payers' money" is being utilized if this is a gift to Pakistan. But it seems to me that this is a loan which Pakistan has to pay back with interest. If so, please keep the sarcasm out. If you have serious reservations, don't give the loan.

Posted by: Straightarrow at September 27, 2009 6:27 PM

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)