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US “AID” IS PEANUTS: Aid must be compared to that given to Israel and Egypt and that offered to Turkey for the Gulf war for transit facilities. US aid to Pakistan was not gratuity. Most it was payment for military bases, transit facilities, and army subcontracting. From 2001 to 2007, the United States extended $10.09 billion in assistance to Pakistan, the highest single year figure being $1.77 billion, which was remitted in 2007. The projected figure for 2008 is $840 million only. According to figures tabulated by the Congressional Research Service, the breakdown is as under:
- Total economic support funds $1.89 billion
- Other development aid $453 million
- Foreign military financing $1.27 billion
- Other security-related aid $377 million
- Coalition support funds $5.93 billion
- Total non-food aid plus coalition support funds ($9.9 billion)
- Food aid $177 million
Ahmad Qureshi, an influential Pakistani jounalist of international repute discusses US-Pakistan relations.
Time for some blunt speak from Islamabad. Truth is, ever since our American friends seized Afghanistan in 2001, that country has gradually turned into a staging ground for destabilization in neighboring Pakistan. If Washington is focused on terrorists crossing our mountainous border into Afghanistan, Islamabad is more concerned at how Afghanistan has become a haven for an assortment of underground forces that consider Pakistan the enemy. These forces remain hostage to a Cold War mindset, and draw support from players beyond Afghanistan’s borders.To paraphrase Ambassador Paterson’s words, terrorist attacks on us from the Afghan soil have already become catastrophic for Pak-U.S. relations, fueling doubts about U.S. intentions.”
If Washington had any respect for the concerns and interests of its Pakistani ally, the government in Kabul today would have reflected a joint Pakistani-American strategic interest and a better representation for the interests of a majority of the Afghan people.
The Pakistani nation has hefty needs. Ignoring these needs imperils the society, region and the world. Identifying the needs of the nation: Here is one assessment, which says, its not that hard to do: About $15 Billion shatters the cycle of poverty in Pakistan and puts it on the road to higher standards.
Using the calculations done by Dr. Furrukh Saleem and putting forward a more agressive and comprehensive schedule, the Pakistani nation has these needs.
- To put each and every Pakistani child in school we need 58,000 new schools and 163,000 new teachers. (Cost $700 million to build, $200 million to hire 163,000 new teachers)
- To radically improve health care Pakistan needs 5000 hospitals (Cost $2.5 million per hospital for a total of $12.5 Billion). At a cost of $3 Billion per annum, we can build 1000 new hospitals per year.
- 100 New High Courts, and 1000 new Small Claim Courts would cost $500 million
- Indus Highway revamp and extension into Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and China. (Cost $2 Billion)
- Railway revamp and extension into Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and China. (Cost $2 Billion)
- Pakistanis also need 5 million homes per annum. Town Planners can set up plans for a dozen brand new cities with low income one bedroom, but well planned communities with all the facilities of a modern US subdivision.
The Turks and the Koreans built skyscrapers in “Shanti Towns” (katchi abadis) and “sold” the apartments to the residents who participated in the construction of the apartments. This provided employment, skills and training to the residents of the area–and a sense of ownership. Within a few years Seoul became a modern city.
Refreigerated Cargo facilities from the Rural Villages to the Urban towns would eliminate the wastage of food items during trucking. The Supply Chain could then be expanded to the Gulf which imports $200 Billion of food items.
Dr. Furrukh Saleem has done the basic analysis, which is a good starting point. This has to be taken to the next level and fleshed out in terms of geography and schedule.
How to fund it? Forget the Pakistani government, and forget US Aid
Who is up to the challenge? A team of dedicated professionals can create “Overseas Pakistani Organization” under Abdus Sattar Edhi, sell (5 million shares at $2,500 per share–forget the math–look at the vision) and Subcontract to President Jimmy Carter’s “Habitat for Humanity”. Pakistani-Americans could be asked for “Qarz e Hasna” for $2,500. At $200 per month, this could be funded very easily. The only impediment is transparency, honesty and integrity.
Pakistan become a modern nation in 5-10 years.
The Overseas Paksitani Foundation can fund this with very little effort. The Overseas Pakistanis can set Subcontract this huge effort to Jimmy Carter’s Non-Profit “Habitat for Humanity” and build these within a few years.
Has the government of Pakistan made a plan as to how it will spend $1.5 billion that will be coming our way courtesy the Treasury Building, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC? Has any of the provincial government undertaken a need-assessment or a need-priority exercise? If we are still planning to plant pebbles then we should not expect to harvest potatoes.
The European Recovery Programme (ERP), known as the Marshall Plan, had a total of $13 billion to be shared by Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The plan began in 1948 and lasted for four years. For the record: one, agriculture production in recipient countries surpassed pre-war levels. Two, the period from 1948 to 1952 “saw the fastest period of growth in European history”. Three, industrial production grew by a wholesome 35 per cent. Four, poverty took a nosedive.
What can $1.5 billion do for us? Let’s say $1 billion for education, $250 million for health and $250 million for judicial reforms. I recently saw a list of 149 countries and the number of children out of primary schools in those countries. Guess, who was at the very top of the list? Answer: Pakistan. A total of 6.3 million children out of primary schools in Pakistan followed by 2.6 million in Sudan, 1.6 million in the US, 1.3 million in Niger, 1.2 million in Cote d’Ivoire and 1.2 million in Burkina Faso.
I have done the math. Pakistan has 156,732 primary schools with 440,000 teachers and 17 million students. In order for us to put each and every Pakistani child in school we need 58,000 new schools and 163,000 new teachers. For the first year, $700 million to build, $200 million to hire 163,000 new teachers — and we will still be left with $100 million for consultants and contractors.
Here’s a group of five countries whose education spending as a percentage of their GDP is the lowest: Pakistan 1.8 per cent, the UAE 1.6 per cent, Indonesia 1.2 per cent, Ecuador 1 per cent and Equatorial Guinea 0.6 per cent. Here are the figures on female illiteracy. The worst performer is Senegal at 69.2 per cent followed by Pakistan at 69.4 per cent. Remember, ‘an ounce of mother-wit is worth a pound of school-wit’.
Next; $250 million for health. We have 965 hospitals and 107,835 registered doctors. Pakistan is the third worst performer as far as expenditure on health as a percentage of GDP is concerned (the worst is Equatorial Guinea followed by Angola). We have one of the lowest numbers of physicians per unit of population, one of the highest numbers of malaria cases, one of the highest incidences of TB (181 per 100,000) and one of the lowest numbers of hospital beds per unit of population.
With $250 million a year we can build 100 new, fully-equipped hospitals every year for a total of 500 new hospitals in the following five years. Imagine; our federal government spends an equivalent of $170 million a year on health — that budget can be doubled and we will still be left with $80 million for consultants, contractors and intermediaries.
Next; $250 million for justice. Our judges are underpaid, courts are understaffed and the legal system is technologically a hundred years in the past. Our courts need a management information system, a human resources system, family courts reforms and an efficient alternative dispute resolution infrastructure. Let the ‘force of arms give place to law and justice’.
Are we failing to plan or planning to fail?
Capital suggestion, $1.5 billion per year, Sunday, December 13, 2009 Dr Farrukh Saleem
The writer is the executive director of the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS). Email: farrukh firstname.lastname@example.org
The Charter or Democracy and “Charter of Demands” are pathetic rags and instruments to grab power. Nothing about Pakistan. Nothing about the people.
For the Pakistani role in the proxy wars of the past century Pakistanis deserve the following. Here is a bill to be handed over to “the powers to be”.
BB and the PPP had two stints in power. You used those to build Surray Palaces. Ms. Bhutto you sold of the Khalistanis to India and created security problems for Pakistan.
Mr. Sharif, you were Prime Minister twice. You exploded the Atom Bomb after being goaded by Mr. Advani and walked into a sanctions regime trap. Mr. Sharif, you surrendered and kneeled down in front of Clinton and gifted $ 1 Billion on Yellow cabs to your partners in Korea. You could have built a car factory. Mr. Musharraf, you have already had almost a decade and now want another 5 years.
Here is a list of requirements missing from the manifestos of all political parties:
MARSHALL PLAN FOR PAKISTAN
- We want Bullet Trains running from the Karakorum’s and beyond to Gwader and beyond. $ 2 Billion
- We want a modern train system and underground railways for our cities. $ 2 Billion
- We want Water and sewage lines in our major cities and our towns and villages. $ 5 Billion
- We want 1000 proper schools for our children and we want. $1 Billion
- 2500 brand new world class hospitals. $ 1 Billion.
- Compare to the USA: (Total Number of All U.S. Registered Hospitals 5,759. Total Staffed Beds in All U.S. Registered Hospitals 955,768)
- We want 500 modern libraries spread all over the country. Build a library larger than the one in Alexandria. $250 million compare to 117,378 libraries in the USA
- We want a Motorway system to link all cities of Pakistan, North and South, East and West. Some on the West bank of the Indus and to the uninhabited remote parts of Baluchistan so that we can bring our largest province to the 21st century and make it habitable with fruit orchards and rice fields.$10 billion
- We need 10 new major airports linked by High Speed Trains. $10 Billion
- We want 50 million “$100 computers” for Pakistanis in Urdu and all local languages. $100 million
- We want “kachi abadis” to disappear from our cities. We want to see skyscrapers and government housing for all the poor. The inhabitants can be used for labor to build the buildings. Use the inhabitants to build skycrapers and parks and sell them a mortgage to pay for the subsidized housing. $ 5 Billion
- We want 100 power plants to eliminate the shortage of electricity in the country.$ 500 million
- We want 5 major dams and 100 minor dams to prevent the acute water shortage in the country. Some of the new canals need to go to Baluchistan to bring water to a thirsty land which is most of Pakistani land. Building Baluchistan brings strategic depth to Pakistan. $ 500 million
- We want 100 ships for the Pakistan National Shipping Corporation so that Pakistan can become a major sea faring nation able to handle the trade. Some of the ships should be cruise ships to bring millions of tourists to Mehergarh,Hapappa, Moenjodaro and Taxila and to the new “Club Meds” and Xcaret type of resorts that should be set up in the Karakurrums and the Run of Kutch areas and the deserts. $ 5 Billion
- We have to quadruple the yield for our Rice, Cotton, Milk and Wheat production benchmarked against the USA, Australia and Canada. New seeds, more fertilizer, better pesticides with combine harvesters, and refrigerated cargo from field to refrigerated vans to refrigerated ships. $1 Billion
- Teach Urdu, English, Farsi, Arabic and Chinese in all schools. Also optional languages Punjabi, Kashmiri, Pahari, Hindkoh, Saraki, Pushto, Baluchi, Brahvi, Sindhi, Darri, Potohari. $ 50 million
- Get ship load of Sri Lankan teachers to eliminate illiteracy in Pakistan. $ 10 million
- Get boatloads of Malaysian manufacturers to setup electronic manufacturing in Pakistan.
- Get train loads of Koreans to build 10 new planned cities in Pakistan. $ 10 Billion
- Get a plane load of the Swiss to build world class ski resorts and amusement parks and develop our archaeological sites as wonders of the world. (Ref. Xcaret in Cancun) $ 2 Billion
- Get busloads of Chinese to build industrial parks in Pakistan. $ 10 Billion
- We want to reclaim millions of acres of desert in Baluchistan for our future generations. $ 3 Billion
And Oh! Yes Northern Areas are part and parcel of Pakistan not to be bartered away to anyone. Don’t even think of giving up Kashmir!
Despite a billion dollar-plus potential, the maritime resources of Pakistan have been continuously ignored. In Pakistan, the US perceives health to be synonymous with birth control measures!
No spectacular new markets have been opened for Pakistan. New technologies have not been transferred to Pakistan even in mundane fields as simple as generation of electric power by wind and solar energy. In the absence of transfer of technology, how can it be taken for granted that the US is committed to Pakistan’s future for the long haul? The elite as well as the general public have serious doubts.
US experts have unanimously opined that Pakistan is beset by serious security challenges.
Pakistani defence experts ask what all has the US done to address its concerns. No serious, high ranking military professional will ever advocate lowering of guard against the Indians.
There can never be any dispute that the most serious conventional and nuclear threat to Pakistan emanates from India. Even in the case of sub conventional threats, India is the prime sponsor of its witting and unwitting agents.
Therefore, even if one were to indulge in semantics that the prime threat to Pakistan lies from within, ultimately India would emerge as the hidden mastermind and pay master. Pakistani defence policy makers must accord the highest priority to safeguards against Indians in terms of force development and employment.
If this axiomatic truth is ignored at any stage, our proud, patriotic Army will risk being reduced to the status of a paramilitary or police force incapable of fighting a conventional war. The lessons of former East Pakistan should never be forgotten. In this regard, we should never be swayed or distracted in our resolve to defend our interests in face of Indian threat.
Taking the wherewithal of modern forces into account, Pakistani defence forces require latest surveillance and intelligence acquisition means, excellent communications, exceptional mobility, accurate firepower, sound force protection means and advanced logistics.
A long term relationship means nothing short of transfer of technology. Firstly, Pakistan requires the complete family of Unarmed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), sensors and other technical devices to detect threats.
This also implies that Pakistan must also have adequate means to detect Indian threats well in time. Our defence forces must have the means to communicate all kinds of threats so that a balanced response can be formulated. The army must have the complete target detection-to-fire engagement system to hit targets accurately and monitor results. Pakistan must be given the complete technology to deal with such threats.
After detection, a target is either engaged by fire or a force is deputed to deal with it. This requires an excellent C4I system. The US must share advanced command, control, communications, computers and information system with Pakistan. In case of force employment, planning process and preparation is followed by movement.
The US must also transfer technology for manufacturing helicopters and military vehicles. Besides this, Pakistan should be given technology to manufacture night vision devices, bullet proof vests and other shielding equipment. Pakistan also requires GPS technology transfer.
In addition, Pakistani doctors should be taught latest medical techniques. Pakistan also requires factories for manufacturing latest field gear, combat meals and medicines. Such challenging environments also place a high premium on robotics to save human lives as in case of bomb disposal. Of course Pakistani soldiers are not more dispensable than their American counterparts.
There can also be no doubt that our soldiers require training in electronic warfare. The new kind of war has also wielded a vast array of new high-tech equipment and gadgetry which must be passed on to Pakistan.
If the Afghan Jihad gave us the F-16s, the present war must win for us the F-22s. The Pakistan Air Force requires technologies related to Air to Air Refuellers, Airborne Early Warning Systems, Stealth, PGMs and GPS kits to convert dumb bombs into smart bombs.
The Pakistan Navy requires additional ports, enlarged dockyard facilities, better surveillance capabilities and precision engagement capabilities. In addition, it also requires fast moving craft and Ro-Ro ferries. Will US abandon Pakistan again? Brig (R) Abdul Rahman Bilal, SJ
Does this list look expensive? Not really. The US-DOD in 2001 estimated that the impact of 9/11 on the Pakistani economy was $10 Billion per year. The cost of all this is in the league of $38 Billion that was offered to Turkey for transit rights into Iraq, which the Turkish parliament turned down. Even if it double or triple that amount, we deserve it. America spent 1 Trillion in Iraq. This is a small price to win the “war on terror”.
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