U.S. plans to give Pakistan $2 billion in military aid
“The War on Terror” continues for the United States, reports the Associated Press. This time, the Obama administration has committed $2 billion toward Pakistan military aid to fight extremist groups like the Taliban and al-Qaida. According to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the administration will ask Congress to approve the funds for use from 2012 to 2016 for U.S.-made arms, ammo and field gear.
Pakistan military aid is not for all units
The Obama administration’s proposed Pakistan military aid will not apply to all Pakistani military units, says the AP. Some units are suspected of committing human rights abuses, such as execution without trail and torture of prisoners. Furthermore, questions exist as to exactly how dedicated Pakistan’s Islamabad government is to policing its border with Afghanistan and whether Pakistan has used past U.S. military aid funds to purchase missiles with which they have targeted rival nation (and U.S. ally) India. Outside Pakistan’s military aid, the nation is already receiving $7.5 billion in civilian assistance to help it deal with recent catastrophic flood damage.
Clinton and Qureshi announced the plan at a joint meeting
While the mood was positive at a joint meeting between Secretary of State Clinton and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Clinton walked a fine diplomatic line. The United States is uneasy with the Islamabad government’s perceived soft stance on terrorism, yet Clinton underscored “the sacrifice and service” that the people of Pakistan have made in their attempts to restore order to their nation.
In response to allegations of being soft on terrorism, Qureshi said, “We do not know what greater evidence to offer (as proof to the contrary) than the blood of our people.”
U.S. encourages Pakistan to improve human rights training
Pakistani units suspected of human rights violations are excluded from receiving U.S. Military aid by 1997 legislation backed by Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont. The “Leahy Amendment” officially “bars U.S. military assistance from going to foreign armed forces suspected of committing atrocities,” reports the AP. According to an anonymous U.S. government spokesperson, the Leahy Amendment will be upheld throughout negotiations regarding Pakistan military aid. Units that fail to comply with the Leahy Amendment are being encouraged to toe the line.
Pakistani missles targeting Indian targets