Fire and Fury | Pakistan Today

Fire and Fury

Trump gets his knickers twisted in a tweet

Old hat, but we should never forget that President Trump greeted Pakistan with a New Year’s tweet that even though America had ‘foolishly’ ‘given’ $33 billion in its ‘War on Terror’, Pakistan had repaid it with ‘lies and deceit’. “No more” he ended. Thank God. Now we have a chance of breaking free of America’s talons and learning self-reliance. It won’t be easy to break away and fly free; it will be painful. But finally the falcon, Iqbal’s Shaheen, will be able to soar the heights and live on the barren cliffs of freedom and self-respect where it belongs, not on the wobbly domes of the palaces of rulers.    

It’s not the first time that America has verbally attacked Pakistan and applied sanctions on it too in return for its help in Afghanistan. Trump’s tweet was payback from a loser to its ally for its support in which Pakistan lost much more than America did and much more than we got back from it in return. Unlike America, we do delve into history but like America we don’t learn from it. At the end of the day, it’s our mutual fault for not thinking through what outcomes our decisions will lead to.

Send back the over 3 million refugees to Afghanistan. That would be enough for starters to bring America back to its senses with alacrity

As you can see from Trump’s tweet, it’s actually America’s accusations that are usually laced with lies, exaggeration and deceit. What triggers them off are their own failures. We are fools to expect recognition leave alone gratitude for our help. Such things should not be expected in relations between states. States deal with each other for self-interest, not praise and appreciation.  I can hear our rulers ask: “What did you say? Self-interest? What’s that? Never heard of it” Let’s see what America spent its money on. First the U.S. figures as compiled by their Congress:

Prepared by the Congressional Research Service for distribution to multiple congressional offices, November 28, 2017

Note: Final obligation and disbursement totals often are lower than program account appropriations

Sources: U.S. Departments of State, Defense, and Agriculture; U.S. Agency for International Development

Abbreviations:

CN: Counternarcotic Funds (Pentagon budget)

CSF: Coalition Support Funds (Pentagon budget)

CSH: Child Survival and Health; Global Health and Child Survival (GHCS) from FY2010; Global Health Programs (GHP) from FY2013

ESF: Economic Support Funds

FMF: Foreign Military Financing

IDA: International Disaster Assistance (Pakistani earthquake, flood, and internally displaced persons relief)

IMET: International Military Education and Training

INCLE: International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement (includes border security)

MRA: Migration and Refugee Assistance (also includes Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance or ERMA)

NADR: Nonproliferation, Anti-Terrorism, Demining, and Related (the great majority allocated for Pakistan is anti-terrorism assistance)

PCF/PCCF: Pakistan Counterinsurgency Fund/Counterinsurgency Capability Fund (PCF overseen by the Pentagon, PCCF overseen by State)

Notes:

  1. a. This funding is “requirements-based;” there are no pre-allocation data.
  2. b. Includes $312 million “global train and equip” funds from FY2006-FY2009 as authorized by Section 1206 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2006, within which $100 million in FY2008 and FY2009 funds went to train and equip Pakistan’s paramilitary Frontier Corps.
  3. c. Congress authorized Pakistan to use the FY2003 and FY2004 ESF allocations to cancel a total of $1.5 billion in debt to the U.S. government. Also includes $17 million in Human Rights and Democracy Funds from FY2002-FY2007.
  4. d. P.L.480 Title I (loans), P.L.480 Title II (grants), and Section 416(b) of the Agricultural Act of 1949, as amended (surplus agricultural commodity donations). Food aid totals do not include freight costs.
  5. e. Includes $286 million in Development Assistance appropriated from FY2002-FY2008.
  6. f. CSF is Defense Department funding to reimburse Pakistan for logistical and operational support of U.S-led military operations; it is technically not foreign assistance. Figures in the CSF row reflect actual payments by appropriation year and not appropriations themselves.
  7. g. The FY2013 NDAA disallowed reimbursements to Pakistan for the period of FY2012 during which the U.S. military’s ground and air lines of communication across and over Pakistan to Afghanistan were closed by the Pakistani government (November 2011-July 2012).
  8. h. The FY2015 NDAA authorized up to $1 billion in additional CSF to Pakistan, $300 million of which was subject to Haqqani Network-related certification requirements that cannot be waived by the Administration. The FY2016 NDAA authorizes another $900 million, with $350 million ineligible for waiver. The FY2017 NDAA authorizes a further $900 million, with $400 million ineligible for waiver. The FY2018 NDAA authorizes another $700 million, with $350 million ineligible for waiver. The Administration did not issue certifications for FY2015 or FY2016. A decision on FY2017 certification is pending.

Contacts: K. Alan Kronstadt, Specialist in South Asian Affairs, 7-5415; Susan Epstein, Specialist in Foreign Policy, 7-667

Now let us see our side of the picture as sent to me by Ambassador Hussain Haroon, our former permanent representative to the UN and what he says.

“Recently unnecessary harsh words were unleashed upon all of Pakistan by the highest office of the USA.

“The whole nation of Pakistan has viewed with revulsion and incredulity the hate Tweet.

“In our 70 years of US and Pakistan relationship, despite many misunderstandings our relationship has persevered.

“The claim of helping Pakistan receive $33 Billion in AID is about as truthful as the charge upon Saddam Hussain’s Possession of weapons of mass Destruction. (WMD)

“Ex—Prime Minister Tony Blair is still facing charges for misleading the House of Commons, the oldest democracy in the world, in believing that Iraq had WMDs and taking the UK into war.

“The $33 billion Figure was concocted by amalgamating various heads of accounts mostly with no relation to aid.

“Aid to Pakistan is below $10 billion in the period 2002 to 2017

“We thank you for this and any other aid we received from you even though our own infrastructural costs and direct and indirect economic costs are in excess of $ 200 billion.

“We were forced by Armitage to take a disproportionate load of the Afghan American war and our national interest. For the sake of argument, if we even take the $33 billion figure, it is only 3% of the Afghan war costs borne by the Americans.

“Is it fair to scapegoat us for this amount in a war the USA has not yet won while rewarding the Afghans and relying heavily on countries inimical to our relationship?

“Let our relations endure and let dialogue persevere, failing which let us part peacefully with dignity, honour and respect,

“To bury us in the Afghan ‘Graveyard of Empires’ would be a warning to anyone deeming to help USA in the future.

“Not recriminations, Let Peace embrace us all.”

The question arises: what ‘forced’ us to accept Armitage’s demand? Answer: we don’t know what is good for us. What should our riposte be? Stop US transit routes to Afghanistan without payment of all our charges? We’ve done it before but restarted them again. Send back the over 3 million refugees to Afghanistan. That would be enough for starters to bring America back to its senses with alacrity. Then see how it pans out.

Humayun Gauhar

Humayun Gauhar is a veteran columnist in Pakistan and editor of Blue Chip magazine.



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