Two and a half years after the widely publicized US Navy Seal raid, which killed Osama bin-Laden at his hideout in the heart of Pakistan’s military-political establishment, Washington DC has quietly resumed overt foreign aid to Islamabad.
Despite growing but muted opposition to foreign aid, a paralyzed and pliant America has resigned itself to decisions crafted by policy makers in Washington DC. Declining standards of living over last several decades have led to a situation where an aging and bankrupt US, with below replacement fertility, is boosting the finances of Pakistan with explosive fertility and rapidly multiplying population.
Pakistan’s ethnic minorities, which are deeply resentful of Islamabad’s oppressive rule, are bracing for further attacks on their communities and dignity, as White House revealed plans to transfer more than $1.6 billion to Pakistan, including $305 million in “security” assistance.
Newly elected Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Punjab is scheduled to meet with White House staff and US Congressional leaders, where plans for future aid will be elaborated.
“As part of our annual funding process, throughout the course of this past summer the State Department notified Congress of how it planned to program funds from several different accounts for various programs in Pakistan…While this is part of a long process of restarting security assistance cooperation after implementation was slowed during the bilateral challenges of 2011 and 2012, civilian assistance has continued uninterrupted throughout,”
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in an email.
Tens of billions in security aid to Pakistan’s military over last several decades has strengthened its grip on restive minorities, including Balochis and Sindhis, who have sought independence with varying degrees of intensity.
Last month, the ethnic conflict between Baloch minority and Punjabi majority came under international glare in the aftermath of powerful earthquake in the province of Balochistan, that took 400 lives and displaced more than 300,000. US congressional hearings on Balochistan have revealed the extent to which American aid to Pakistan has been used to suppress Balochistan’s freedom struggle and right to self determination.
Following the lead of Balochistan, separatists in Pakistan’s Sindh province have redoubled their efforts towards political independence from Pakistan, as American foreign aid enriches the Punjab province, home to Pakistani military-political-financial establishment.
It remains to be seen if American people’s opposition to foreign aid can be channeled into political action, so that the cycle of oppression, death and destruction of Pakistan’s ethnic minorities, followed by ever increasing aid by Washington DC, can be broken.[image from wikimedia]