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Politics & Current Affairs

Pakistan Criticizes Our Aid

I am befuddled. We are handing the Pakistanis a check for $1.5 billion next year and their top military brass is angry, calling it “typical American arrogance?” I agree U.S. foreign policy has been abrasive over the past few years (and the proposed fortress-like embassy there looks like a big middle finger) but Pakistan has shown little appetite in hunting down the Taliban and other terrorists, many of which are in cahoots with Pakistani intelligence.

Also, last time I checked, the perpetrators behind 9/11 remained holed up in Pakistan, and according to UN Security Council Resolution 1373, adopted unanimously in 2001, anyone who harbors these gentlemen are themselves held responsible. Under international law and the rules governing state responsibility, Pakistan is required by law to control non-state actors—al-Qaeda, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, etc.—which operate from within its sovereign territory. I’m sorry but it forfeits its right to saw we are violating Pakistani sovereignty when it cannot prevent its territory from becoming a terrorist sanctuary.

Our aid package has exposed a widening rift there between the Pakistani military and its civilian government. We should not wade into local politics there but nor should we hand them large sums of cash with no strings attached, not after recent reports that previous aid packages were diverted. If that’s perceived as “arrogance,” then so be it.

One word haunts Seymour Hersh’s new investigative piece about the potentially shaky security of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal: “mutiny.” As Hersh writes, “the Taliban overrunning Islamabad is not the only, or […]

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