Kerry-Lugar Bill: Can It Bridge the Trust Deficit?

Posted on October 6, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Economy & Development, Foreign Relations
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Adil Najam

The debate over the US $7.5 billion (over five years) Kerry-Lugar Bill – The Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act – passed by the U.S. Senate late September seems to have have generated great confusion, bemusement, anger and frustration. Sometimes, all at the same time.

The headlines in only today’s The News tell us, for example, that the Pakistan Army considers the Bill to be an “insult,” that Pakistan’s Prime Minister sees it as a “big success for democracy,” that India is “upset” about it, and that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is chiding the Bill’s critics to “read the Bill first.” Even as the entrepreneurial classes in both Washington and Islamabad dream up big plans and salivate at impending windfalls, it is difficult to tell whether it is the political pundits in Washington who feel more insulted or the political pundits in Islamabad. Suffice to say, both are seething with anger, even when it is not at all clear why.

The Kerry-Lugar Bill is a five year commitment for up to US $7.5 Billion for developmental assistance, with up to US $ 1.5 Billion available each of the next five years, which amounts to a tripling of the U.S. civilian assistance to Pakistan. Responding to what has been a call of many Pakistanis over many years, it directs this assistance towards civilian, and especially infrastructure, uses and not towards military aid. It also tries to respond to the fears about corruption by the bureaucracy and politicians by asking for strong oversight over use and effectiveness.

So, what is there not to like about the Kerry-Lugar Bill? Speak to the Bill’s proponents in Washington and they will ask you: “Isn’t this exactly what you guys have been asking for all along? More money. Money for civilian development projects. Money that will be accounted for and used properly. So, why aren’t you all dancing in the streets and hugging us in gratitude?” Many Americans are clearly feeling insulted because what they see as a case of their generosity not being appreciated.

For its critics the answer is straight-forward and can be summarized in one word: conditionality. The critic’s wrath is not really about what the Kerry-Lugar Bill promises; it is about what the Kerry-Lugar Bill demands. Call it concerns about sovereignty, about imperialism, about national pride, or whatever else, but many Pakistanis are clearly feeling insulted because they think they have been presented with a ‘bill of demands’ and being asked to sell out cheap.

One can dissect things deep in search of hidden meanings and clues. Too many people are already doing that and it really does not help. The problem is deep. But it is not hidden.

The debate we are now seeing is one more manifestation of the deep deficits of trust that have marked all US-Pakistan relations. In the absence of trust, Pakistanis – even those who might otherwise support this Bill – simply refuse to accept that America could possibly be interested in Pakistan’s interests. For the very same reasons, Americans – even those who strongly wish to see a stronger Pakistan – simply refuse to acknowledge the intensity with which Pakistan has always sought “friends, not masters.”

The fact of the matter is that if the U.S. had any trust whatsoever in the Pakistani state or the Pakistani people, this Bill would not have been crafted in the language it is. By the same token, if Pakistanis had any trust whatsoever in the United States their reaction would not have been what it is even if the Bill were written as it is. The US-Pakistan relationship is a most reluctant international relationship. The Kerry-Lugar Bill is a good example of this. Here is support that the Americans would much rather never have been ‘made’ to give to Pakistan. Here is support that Pakistanis would much rather never have been ‘made’ to accept.

And herein lies the real problem of Pakistan-US relations. Neither trusts the other. Each can give many reasons – and some of them, in each case, are very valid – why, but that matters little. The result is a tainted and reluctant relationship.

When I visit Pakistan, I am often asked: “What do Americans think of Pakistan?” In USA, I am often asked “What do Pakistanis think of America?” The answer to both questions is exactly the same: “They think of you exactly what you think of them. They don’t really like you, they certainly don’t trust you, but right now they think they need you.”

It is no surprise, then, that there is no US-Pakistan ‘relationship’; there are only US-Pakistan transactions.

Here is a Bill that should have been, and still could be, used as a means to build that trust. The trust without which this relationship will forever be tainted, reluctant and prone to constant frustration. If the two sides (and it really is about what both sides do) continue to look at this as a transactional episode – of services provided and paid for – then five years from now Americans will find themselves asking what the point of spending (‘wasting’) all this money was, and Pakistanis would be heard questioning whether they would have been better off never having accepted this largess. Both have been there before and both are likely to end up being there again.

On the other hand, if – and this is as big an ‘if’ as you will ever find in international relations – the two sides really do get past the ugliness in the discourse right now and use this opportunity to move from transactions to a relationship then, as Humphery Bogart said in the movie Casablanca, this could well become “the start of a beautiful friendship.”

But for that to happen, too many things would first have to change in both Islamabad and Washington. At this point, unfortunately, it is not clear at all that either is interested, or capable, of those changes.

76 Comments on “Kerry-Lugar Bill: Can It Bridge the Trust Deficit?”

  1. Haroon says:
    October 7th, 2009 12:39 am

    Excellent commentary.

    On the one hand a lot of things in the K-L Bill are exactly right. Specially that it is money for development and NOT for Army. But, frankly, I just don’t trust the Americans and that they are doing it for Pakistan’s interest. There is just too much conditions.

  2. Roxio says:
    October 7th, 2009 12:47 am

    There are elements in the country which have attempted make ammended copies of bill and spread it among the media.The ammended copies which are fake have cleverly disguised the ‘conditions’ which exist in the real thing.
    The governor of Punjab’s office has been found to be one source doing this nefarious act.
    Dozens of fake copies have are being distributed from Salman Taseer’s office.

  3. ASAD says:
    October 7th, 2009 12:51 am

    The Bill is available for everyone to see on the internet and on the Senate website. This rumor mongering is pointless.

  4. Sadiq says:
    October 7th, 2009 12:55 am

    I can understand that America is looking for its own interests. That is what it should do. My problem with this is, WHO IS LOOKING FOR PAKISTAN’S INTERESTS? Why have we sold ourselves so cheap just for a few bucks for a few politicans. That is what is wrong with the Bill.

  5. Roxio says:
    October 7th, 2009 12:57 am

    Asad,

    Ambassador Haqqani has tried to further confuse everyone by saying that there are 5 different versions of the bill available on the internet.Only one of them is the real one.(Mere Mutabiq 3 Oct 09).

    To carefully study all five and to find which one is genuine one has to have a brain comparable to Einstein to do that.
    Do you think an average Pakistani would be able to do that?

    To find out the truth is everyone’s right,it is not rumour mongering.

  6. ASAD says:
    October 7th, 2009 1:14 am

    Roxio, I think you are insulting poor Einstien as well as ordinary Pakistanis.

    There is no rocket science. Just go to the US senate website and read the Bill there. That is the only one.

    its really not that difficult.

    Give it a try.

    I am sure even you can do it.

  7. Pakistani says:
    October 7th, 2009 1:23 am

    Asad, so you think we shud blindly trust the Americans? what exactly do you mean by rumour-mongering? we have the right to know the truth and the truth is that this Bill is suicide for Pakistan. It is the biggest threat to our security and has to be rejected by the Pakistani nation. Period.

  8. jk says:
    October 7th, 2009 3:19 am

    Is this the entire text of the bill? http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=200156

  9. Zecchetti says:
    October 7th, 2009 3:24 am

    Pakistan has effectively been purchased by the Americans for the price of $7.5bn in instalments of $1.5bn. Not a bad deal to buy and enslave an entire nation.

    Pakistan is now the 51st state of America. And then we wonder why there is so much insurgency??? Come on, O educated elite. You appear to be educated yet you are more blind than the illiterate common man who knows what’s going on.

  10. FollowTheMoney says:
    October 7th, 2009 3:36 am

    “Follow the money” Gentlemen.

  11. DARWEESH says:
    October 7th, 2009 3:57 am

    Dear Pakistanis, we as a nation are directionless . With worst political leaders/parliamentarians at the helm of affairs and nation all dumfounded the way they are handling the affairs, USA ia all bent upon taking full advantage of it.
    But having seen civilian society-strife/movement succefully getting rid of a tyrant like Mush,and getting Judiciary back on benches, we in Pakistan hope this “Slavery Bill” will be rejected by all concerned as the pressure from sanner elements is too much on politicians.

  12. Junaid says:
    October 7th, 2009 4:31 am

    7.5 Billion for just kicking some ass.

    Not a bad deal.

    Watch the video of Pak army justifying the aid

    http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-336357

  13. Adam Insaan says:
    October 7th, 2009 5:13 am

    -I do clearly remember my history teacher in college formulating and explaining the structure called
    “PAX AMERICANA”,
    -as a note to this he said, `Pax means peace, -but history of US shows they seldom implement this in countries they have strategic interest in……., it`s rather the opposite they get´.

    Now years after I am hit by this retrospective flash, having read the article and the comments.

    (My history teacher was a genuine European)

  14. NOUMANA..... says:
    October 7th, 2009 5:52 am

    a good informative write-up indeed….well balanced n analyzed esp the ” IF ” b/w Pak-America ties….

  15. October 7th, 2009 6:00 am

    The bill is a joke. It appears to have been written in a fairy tale land of puppies and sunshine!

    A large section of it calls for the govt. to spend money on health, education, vocational training and other social development projects. The americans must be really deluded to think that the Pakistani govt. would spend any money on the Pakistani people. It hasn’t happened in 60 years. It won’t happen in the next five.

    It also talks about using the money to lower corruption! Has anyone ever heard of using massive amounts of money to REDUCE corruption?

    Also you guys need to stop talking about $1.5 billion a year. Half that amount will go to american “consultants” so its really $750 mill per year. Also I am confused as to whether this is a loan that has to be paid back with interest or is it a grant?

  16. October 7th, 2009 6:02 am

    In real sense its nothing, but i guess 1.5 billion might be price of our parliament.

  17. Adnan says:
    October 7th, 2009 6:49 am

    Inter-state relations boil down to one thing: quid pro quo–you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. There is no place for emotions, it’s cold calculus. The sooner we realize that we have to maximize our gains in a partnership which would never be long-term, the better it will be for us. The US knows that. I am not sure we do.

  18. Roxio says:
    October 7th, 2009 7:12 am

    There is little doubt that $1.5b a year out of which only about $750 million will actually tricke down to the civil sector is peanuts as compared to what it demands of Pakistan to do.
    First they screw your economy to the point that even a few millions a year seems a big amount.

    A few years back,they offered Turkey $30 billion just to have US forces transit through to go to Iraq and the Turkish parliament rejected it outright.
    For $1.5b a year Pakistan will be made to a lot more than just that.
    Every high level posting and selection in the top brass of the Pakistan army has to be done with prior approval from the Pentagon.
    Indeed the US congress and Senate passed it in no time.It is understandable.
    Quran says it explicity:”They can never be your well wishers or friends.Indeed they are friends between themselves always conspiring to weaken you.”

  19. ali says:
    October 7th, 2009 8:37 am

    Zrdari and FM Qureshi do not seem to have the guts to have the Americans delete or at least modify some of the controversial clauses in the bill.There are too many “you can`t do this you can`t do that in the bill”. In its present form the bill will corner Pakistan.

  20. Pakistani says:
    October 7th, 2009 8:56 am

    From whatever I have read about this Bill, I will say that I am not in favour of it.

    True, the money could come in handy and could do quite a bit to help poverty etc but I think that Pakistan is already doing a lot and can ill afford to go any further.

    Let’s have a look at what Pakistan is doing and has done in this so called ‘war on terror’.

    1. Pakistan is already providing the US and Nato with an air base from where they fly their drones (according to some reports) and of course, their air force too.

    2. Supplies for Nato go through Pakistan from Karachi Port.

    3. We have some 4000 missing Pakistanis because Mushy wanted to please his leaders. What has happened to them?

    4. The US does not want to provide any latest weapons to Pakistan because of the ‘fear’ that Pakistan will use it against India. Fine. India is a strong country and uses its arms in regard of this. This is called politics and I am cool with that. What I dont understand is how would night goggles destroy India? Do you know that Pak Army has been requested for night vision equipments for over four years now and has not been provided yet. Night goggles for God’s sake! Forget F-16′s .. these goggles are not WMD’s by any means.

    5. The US has for 8/9 years supported a dictator – at the very same time, they invaded a country to get rid of one to install democracy – how can one trust them?

    There are other points but these are some main ones. The US, since 2001, has shown plenty of times that it does not care about Pakistan’s well being.

    And there would be no need for such ‘aids’ if they would just increase trade with us. This is what we want at the end of the day. If someone wants a fish, dont just give him one. How will that help him? Instead teach him to fish for himself!

    I hope they reject the bill. Then we will see the consequences. It’s best to die once as a hero than die a thousands times like a coward.

  21. Imran Khan says:
    October 7th, 2009 9:32 am

    My concern is more about the unintended consequences of the implementation criteria. When the onus of execution is on the giver, it implies a much more invasive approach into the sovereignty of the country. With controls come scrutiny and protection of the scrutinizer. The higher the scrutiny the greater the need of protection, and further deterioration of trust. So at the end of the day US will need a small locally employed standing security force to enforce the correct implementation of the bill. Since it will be a small security force it will need force multipliers in the form of spies, weapons and sensors. I think we went down this path with East India Company. Fooled once, shame on you, fooled twice, shame on us.

  22. Farrukh says:
    October 7th, 2009 10:15 am

    Just a minute. Can someone please stop the naara baazi and explain to me exactly WHY the Bill is bad.

    1. First, its NOT a loan so financially there is no paying back.
    2. Second, what is it that we are “surrendering” or “giving up”. Aren’t we already doing the things for the US that people are cribbing about. There is nothing new that the Bill asks Pakistan to do that it is not already being made to do. So, at least take the money.
    3. Can someone please say exactly which ‘condition’ they do not like. The conditions are that we should respect human rights. And you are saying we should not? The bill says we should ensure democracy. And you are saying that the US should ask for military government? The bill says that you should reduce corruption. And you are saying that we should not?

    There can be plenty discussion on whether this money will be used well or not or what it should be used for. But this silly talk which has no connection to what is in the bill is just media-infused hysteria.

  23. October 7th, 2009 10:27 am

    Some comments from the ATP Facebook Page:

    - “There are many good things in this Bill. Like the fact that teh money is for roads and schools and infrastructure and not for Army and Generals.”
    - “and it won’t go in the hidden pockets of our politicians :)”
    - “Are you guys serious??? this is suicide for Pakistan’s sovereignity!! CIA and every foreign agency will have absolute control on the way everthing is run in our country. This bill is the biggest threat to our national security and should be completly rejected.”
    - “there must be smthng hidden…theses goray thnks for the upcmng 30yrs my frnd….the might hav sm cnditions in it…which we couldnt figure out bt tht may hav shitty thinking behind….”
    - “Really? How? Can you please quote what section of the Bill says that?”
    - “this is the bill which .. we should accept the policy of education ,, which they required..”
    - “SEC 306 REPORTS

    (E) An assessment of whether assistance provided to Pakistan pursuant to this Act has directly or indirectly aided the expansion of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, whether by the diversion of United States assistance or the reallocation of Pakistan financial resources that would otherwise be spent for programs and activities unrelated to its nuclear weapons program.

    Shut down our Nuclear program???? you dont think thats a threat to a country that is SURROUNDED by hostility..where terrorists are being sent into Pakistani territory by CIA-MOSSAD-Raw ..through Afghanistan. Every Pakistani who has bothered to do some research other than blindly following the mainstream media knows that TTP terrorists were trained and sent into Pakistani territory by their paymasters in Afghanistan.

    (G) An analysis of a suitable replacement for the AH-1F and AH-1S Cobra attack helicopters, which includes recommendations for sustainment, training, and any other matters determined to be appropriate.

    So they will control every single aspect of the way Pakistan Army trains its finest ..and every other matter that shud be none of anyone’s business ..specially not the Americans.

    (H) An assessment of the extent to which the Government of Pakistan exercises effective civilian control of the military, including a description of the extent to which civilian executive leaders and parliament exercise oversight and approval of military budgets, the chain of command, the process of promotion for senior military leaders, civilian involvement in strategic guidance and planning, and military involvement in civil administration

    Control. Again. Complete Control over every single aspect of the way our country is run?!! So now the US Senate will tell what officers are to be promoted to higher ranks in the Army..and who is supposed to lead our Armed forces…not just that they get to decide who the chain of command will be. They get to decide what ISI can do and what they can’t do. This is ridiculous and is an attack on our dignity and sovereignity as a nation. There is NO WAY this bill will go through, nor it should.

    Lets have clarity and raise our voices to tell our pathetic government to grow a backbone and do whats best for Pakistan. Not their own bloody bank accounts.”
    - “If you wanna know the truth about this Bill..watch this. However, if you wanna go on believing what the Americans and this pathetic government wants us to then pls dont bother watching.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAYcmu0NJJg&feature=player_embedded

    - “Reject karlo or phir ghar mein machine laga kar Dollar chaaap lo……………….”
    - “LET IT COMES..wht ever comes… we need this money to be a part of our currency:)”
    - “Yeah i have watched the program already last sunday. Everything about KL Bill is open to everyone now. But still some dollar loving creatures who were unfortunately born in pakistan, are not willing to oppose the bill, no matter what they have to put on stake, but the dollar god must come in. halankay you correctly said ‘Sinking boat’, but they dont know. Poor pakistanis.”
    - “the good news is that Gen. Kiyani has now told US to shove it! :D chk this out: http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=24886
    - ““General McChrystal returned from the GHQ with an unambiguous message that the terms set in the Kerry-Lugar Bill on the national security interests of Pakistan are insulting and are unacceptable in their present formulation” hehehhee great.”
    - “This is a clear indication what US wants, what is there in US 2001 agenda for setting up a new world order. Abhi b log na samjhain to tuff hai in per.”
    - “Above all, we must make ourselves not dependent upon such aids. We Pakistanis are to come ahead and earn by our own our money, dignity, respect, sovereignty, self reliance and social security. We need to act unitedly now.”
    - “Its like sellling our country!”
    - “203 c)
    the Government of Pakistan is continuing to cooperate with the United States in efforts to dismantle supplier networks relating to the acquisition of nuclear weapons-related materials, such as providing relevant information from or direct access to Pakistani nationals associated with such networks;
    2)dismantling terrorist bases of operations in other parts of the country, including Quetta and “Muridke”
    15)an assessment of the extent to which the Government of Pakistan exercises effective civilian control of the military, including a description of the extent to which civilian executive leaders and parliament exercise oversight and approval of military budgets, the chain of command, the process of promotion for senior military leaders, civilian involvement in strategic guidance and planning, and military involvement in civil administration.”
    - “Pakistan should be mard e azad n reject it!!!”
    - “simpli not accepted.”
    - “is report me saaaf alfaz me kah gaya hai k yah bil pakistan ki salam ti k liyah bohat bara kahtra hai our kuty ka bacha zardari kah raha hia koye masla nahi hia yah bill pass hona chahiyah mery bahi hamare pass koye chara nahi k hum ahtyejaj karyn ????”
    - “good informative write-up indeed….well balanced n analyzed esp the ” IF ” b/w Pak-America ties….”
    - “This is the offical link from the US gov’t senate site for the true kerry-lugar bill. People are claiming that there are of 5 different bills being passed around on the internet and from what people are posting it looks like you are reading something else entirely., i’m sure people have their own agenda for promoting a fake bill. Why does this not surprse me?? @Summayya…you are being paranoid and going on about things not in the bill. The primary thing the bill says is how the funds are to be used for the infrastructure of Pakistan…social programs education, medical, food, clean water, rights of women protected and programs to remove the risk of gov’t corruption (which has been a big problem since forever). The bill also requires accountability to make sure that the gov’t spends the money on building a better Pakistan and a better life for Pakistanis and maintains their efforts which have already been recognized to keep terrorists from using Pakistan as a breeding ground by having Pakistan intelligence work diligently to identify potential threats to Pakistan, surrounding countries, and the US from Pakistan terrorist organizations.
    http://lugar.senate.gov/sfrc/pdf/Pakistan.pdf
    - “ji tu app kiya souchti hain k yah bill hum ko laye lyena chahiyah jab k ZARDARI jasye log hamare sadar hian app kiya souchti hian k yah pasa lagye ga pakistan me ?????? rahy meri hamwatan bahn ager app cny thory din pahlye ramzan me karachi ki 18 woman ki report perhi hooo tuu app ko pata chalye ga yah jitny uper k siyasat dan hian na khasbisss voo hi chiiiniii ki factrys k malik hian sub se pahlye nawaz pahir zardari phir chudris tu app nay kasey souch liyah k yah pasa awam ko mil jaye ga lagta hai app abhi tak jagi nahi hian… pakistan ko sub se bara kahtra USA se nahi balkh us ki apni bewaqooof awaam se hia…”
    - “there is no date,no letter no,no signatures on the pdf file whose link u gave…u think our military is mad that they are critisizing on the bill …if so,y not should we put notice”Pakistan for sale,jo ziada boli lagay wo lay jay”"
    - “The sections you quote – SEC 306 REPORTS – does NOT force Pakistan to close its nuclear program. It says that the Bill’s money should not be used to support the nuclear program. The US has always opposed the nuclear program, so why do you want them to pay for our nukes. That is not what the Bill is about!”

  24. ASAD says:
    October 7th, 2009 10:54 am

    Farrukh is right.

    So, what is it that the U.S.A. is asking Pakistan to do now that we are not already doing or not already being asked to do or which we will not end up doing anyhow?

    If nothing, then lets at least take whatever little money we are being given. No?

  25. Aamir Ali says:
    October 7th, 2009 11:05 am

    I believe Pakistan can accept this bill, and take the cash while ignoring the conditions as the US needs Pakistan in this region rather than the other way around. I believe savvy folks in Pakistan are also thinking like this.

    However given that Pakistanis have a love-hate relationship with America, there will probably be a lot of posturing and babbling before matters quiet down regarding this bill. Pakistanis have never declined aid, and are not about to miss out on this juicy aid bill !

  26. jk says:
    October 7th, 2009 11:06 am

    A demand for accountability is making people angry and are considering not to accept the money that they need?

    Accountability that ensures that the money isn’t going to line the pockets of generals, and politicians. Oh, no we can’t have that.

    Why settle for conditions that enforce that money goes to civilian infrastructure instead of going to the pockets of our leaders?

    We must reject this! We have big pride! We mustn’t let people tell our leaders what to do with the free money.

  27. Mus says:
    October 7th, 2009 11:06 am

    Asad,
    When you say “If nothing, then lets at least take whatever little money we are being given” it shows our complete moral degradation.Have we gotten so low that “whatever” is now enough for us.Fortunately the majority in this forum will not share your views because there is still some self integrity left in us.

    As I write this,the powerful Corps Commanders have already expressed serious concerns over the bill and I believe they will have the last say over it.

    Pakistanis living abroad who are many times more patriotic than Asif Zardari,are sending home close to $10 billion a year with no conditions.
    I am sure a little more effort and a campaign can increase it to $12 billion a year.That money dwarfs the peanuts doled out in this bill with punishing conditionalities.

  28. jk says:
    October 7th, 2009 11:17 am

    “‘The tone and tenor of the bill in terms of conditionalities is not just intrusive, it’s also overbearing and bordering on the humiliation of Pakistan,’ said Mushahid Hussain, a leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q. ‘We are not being treated kindly.’”

    The PML-Q and past ruling governments have humiliated us already. They are just passing the blame now.

    Humiliation because of conditions and accountability?

    There is no accountability for any thing in Pakistan and that is what many people like about it. But then you can reap what you sow.

    No one had any problem about the free money coming from Bushie to Mushie. It is only when accountability and conditions arise that people are angry. We’ve seen what wonderful governing skills our governments possess. They deserve to get accountability forced on them now.

    This is just grandstanding and noise making so that people can ignore the utter humiliation that they already are under and have been under since 30+ years.

  29. ASAD says:
    October 7th, 2009 11:21 am

    So, Mus, what’s your alternative.

    Keep doing everything and not even accept the aid being offered?

    What would that be?

    Please be realistic. If you think you can actually change policy on any of these things and do differently, then go ahead, make my day!

  30. Hamza says:
    October 7th, 2009 11:30 am

    I have yet to read a reasoned level headed analysis of the Kerry-Lugar bill. This post comes close, but has deliberately avoided tackling the finer details of the bill. What exactly is objectionable about this bill? There is no such thing as a free lunch in the world of aid bills. If we want US money, they have a legitimate right to ask if this money will be correctly spent.

    In an ideal world, Pakistan wouldn’t have to make use of development aid. But, frankly speaking, our country is bankrupt, our educational system barely functions, and our healthcare system near collapse. Any help, even with conditions, is better than nothing.

    Finally, I don’t really see the big problem with the conditions mentioned in the media. One that I’ve read is that Pakistan needs to stop supporting jihadi groups. This is a no brainer. It’s in our self interest, and we shouldn’t need a conditional aid bill to make us do this. The other is that Pakistan needs to stop proliferation of nuclear weapons. Again, if our military is still involved in this, then we have big problems on our hands. Stopping nuclear proliferation is in our self interest.

  31. Mus says:
    October 7th, 2009 11:34 am

    The alternative is to refuse to accept the bill outright.
    Its not a case of amount.The money offered is nothing anyway.US is spending $120 billion a year in Afghanistan.I am sure Pakistan can live without $1.5b and have peaceful sleep with no bindings to any condition.
    The bill has disguised motifs to convert Pakistani army into Iraqi army by reporting all top level transfers and postings to Pentagon for approval.

  32. ASAD says:
    October 7th, 2009 11:52 am

    I am sorry, Mus, but can you please point me towards the clause in the Bill which requires “reporting all top level transfers and postings to Pentagon for approval.”

  33. jk says:
    October 7th, 2009 12:17 pm

    It’s all about feeling humiliation and bayizati that people will have to be accountable to the people giving you billions of dollars.

  34. Roshan says:
    October 7th, 2009 12:22 pm

    I havent read the bill but media debate and security establishment concrens seem an over reaction. I agree that both Pakistan and U.S. have trust deficit in their relationship and this relationship needs to be instutionalized based on trust and mutual understanding. Lets see the flip side of coin, its a historical achievement that U.S. is providing aid to a civilian government, rather than military regime. It is focused on social infrastructual development, which we direly need. We want our children to have access to education, we want a healthcare infrastructure in rural areas, we want other amenities for our people. This aid, if spent sensibly and honestly may bring social change.
    Regarding the conditionalities, yes we want democratic system and the bill supports that, we want the elimination of extremism and the bill supports that and we believe there should not be nuclear proliferation and this bill supports that.
    Regarding, security establishment concerns, its more a shift of power from military to civilians which they are not agreeing with. Was there any debate when military was recieving aid from U.S. for the last eight years, I would say NO. Now the money that would be spent on civilians has become an issue ‘national security’.
    It is unfortunate that our leaders did not learn lesson from history and are meeting in clandistine with army chief at night and next morning submit a resolution on Kerry-Lugar bill in the parliament.
    Let us try to invest it transparently and sensibly for the purpose it is meant for.

  35. Ed says:
    October 7th, 2009 12:39 pm

    This is the best analysis of the whole think I have read. This debate is about the nature of the relationship between our two countries and not about any Bill

  36. svas mark says:
    October 7th, 2009 12:46 pm

    Carry Lugar Bill is in fact the Carry Looter Mill.

    It is not for Pakistan. If foreseen, it has designs for the enslavement, by any kind or means, of the whole of Asiatic mainland.

  37. Jam Yasir says:
    October 7th, 2009 12:48 pm

    yes its true…but know the things are in control as far as ppl are responding and taking interests in these kind of acts i must say there ill be the day when both the countries would accept and full fill the burdens of Deficiencies.

    And Adil it was again wonderful reading your views God bless you (Amen)

  38. man says:
    October 7th, 2009 1:30 pm

    Friends,there is nothing called “free lunch”….

  39. Talat says:
    October 7th, 2009 5:49 pm

    This is a very insightful analysis.

    I also don’t find much real fault with the Bill itself. But I just cannot trust the US given all its past.

    To be fair, if I was an American I do not think I would trust Pakistan much either.

    And as you say that is the heart of the problem.

  40. October 7th, 2009 6:20 pm

    Some more comments from ATP’s Facebook Page:

    - “so u want that A.Q. Khan sholud be given to us….never….never ever”
    - “this is the link referred to on http://www.pakistaniat.com (oiiginal site of All Things Pakistan). Is anyone posting on the main site or just posting on facebook? I don’t understand why you think it’s like selling out. As long as Pakistan is in agreement with the programs…what’s wrong with an overseeing benefactor wanting to make sure the money is used for those purposes? You go to the bank for a loan to build a house. The bank wants to be sure the money is used to build a house, that the house is as stipulated in the agreement and is up to code and that all pertinent permits and inspections are acquired. The only difference the money allocated in the bill isn’t a loan.”
    - “Pakistan wants and needs this money, America’s want to maintain/create good alliance with Pakistan in hopes that it will have a positive affect on Homeland Security in America and the world. Sell out? All that is being bought is Pakistan’s continued alliance and cooperation in the fight against terrorism. In return, Pakistan gains much. Fighting Terrorism should be what everyone wants and participates in achieving…imagine being paid to do this…that’s it. However, if there are certain aspects of the Bill which causes Pakistan some fear that they are being controlled by the US then they should reject the bill as it is and request an ammedment. Pakistan has some leverage here because America wants alliance with Pakistan as much as Pakistan wants/needs this money. U got to think about the future…change is long over due so that the children can have a better life. healthcare, education, economic growth, security, etc.. Maybe then Pakistan will cease to be a golden opportunity for terrorists groups who promise martyrdom and a few dollars to the desperate while engaging in the killing of Pakistani civilians to make a point or to show disagreement with something…this is not how issues are resolved. Who can be trusted to evalute this bill to see if Pakistan’s best interest is being served by this bill? Who is not corrupt and has only one agenda and that is, what is truly in the best interest of Pakistan and its future?”

  41. Anwar says:
    October 7th, 2009 6:35 pm

    people are just making up stories, like that idiot Zaid Hamid who is spreading vitriol and his anti-Pakistan agenda on TV, going as far as to threaten the state of pakistan and making up stories and total lies about what is in the Bill itself.

    Please point to me what clause of the Bill says that Pakistan has to hand over AQ Khan. Amazing how easily people like Zaid Hamid lie and how many are willing to believe their lies.

  42. Adnan says:
    October 7th, 2009 7:02 pm

    He who pays the piper calls the tune…

  43. Javed Durrani says:
    October 7th, 2009 7:05 pm

    I think the last comment from the Facebook Comments and the next one about Zaid Hamid are right.

    As the Facebook person says, lets see who is AGAINST the Bill. It is India, it is Zaid Hamid and it is probably the Taliban.

    I do not want to be siding with any of these three because all are against the idea of Pakistan. I think India and Zaid hamid are both against it because if the Bill works there will be more schools, roads etc in Pakistan and Pakistan will prosper and India as well as Zaid Hamid will hate to see that.

  44. Mike says:
    October 7th, 2009 8:00 pm

    I am not surprised that the Pak army is not happy about Kerry-Lugar Bill. The conditions in the bill make it difficult for Pak army diverts funds for its own use (arms and pilfering by higher ranks). Gen. Musharraf did admit recently that he diverted US funds to buy arms to be used against India.

    About “Call it concerns about sovereignty, about imperialism, about national pride, or whatever else”

    To Pakistan, sovereignty is not a rigid concept, rather it is a selective one.

    9/29/09 Dawn
    Sources told Dawn that Saudi authorities had shared intelligence information about Alawi’s sons Ali and Siddique with Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik during his recent visit to Jeddah and requested cooperation in tracing and arresting the two top planners of suicide attacks.

    Although there is no extradition treaty with Saudi Arabia, Pakistan handed over the two foreign militants bypassing its law to oblige the Saudi authorities.

    Pakistan refuses to handover terrorist who killed civilians in Mumbai to Indian government, however it does sent its citizens to Saudi Arabia and US.

    WASHINGTON DIARY: Huffing and puffing —Dr Manzur Ejaz, October 07, 2009

    “The condition of the Pakistani economy is a statement of surrender itself because, structurally, it cannot survive without a sugar daddy, be the US, China or someone else. Put simply, if every big institution is losing billions of dollars and the taxable don’t pay taxes, how can the country claim independence or have the guts to say no to a few billion dollars coming from somewhere at any condition?”

  45. MQ says:
    October 7th, 2009 8:56 pm

    Shehrzad Azhar of Forum, the other day posted a story in connection with the on-going debate on Kerry-Luger Bill , which is worth repeating: A man traveling in a plane said to the young girl sitting next to him, reading a book. “Why don’t we talk? It makes the journey shorter.” The girl looked up from her book and said, “talk about what?” Nuclear science, maybe, the man replied. The girl said, “Do you know why the deer, the cow and the horse excrete manure in different shapes even though they all eat grass?” The man was taken aback by the question. He had no clue. “If you don’t know anything about manure”, the girl said, “how are you going to discuss nuclear science?”

    This story pretty much sums up the media debate on Kerry-Luger Bill. Many of the talking heads have neither read nor understood the bill. Nor they care to understand it. But they go on talking.

    Having said that, it is true that the bill could have been worded better. President Obama is a wordsmith himself and he has some of the best and the brightest people on his team. They should have known the cultural and political context in which the present government in Pakistan is operating. And, the government of Pakistan could have been more prescient than it has been. But all this foaming and frothing in the media has more to do with domestic politics than with bill itself.

  46. Roxio says:
    October 7th, 2009 9:19 pm

    @Anwar,
    The bill uses disguised words.For example it says US would have direct access to “Pakistani nationals” involved in nuclear proliferation.
    Having to use AQ Khan’s name doesn’t matter any more and the new words cover much more than AQ Khan himself,infact go beyond to cover dozens of professionals working in Pakistan’s nuclear research.
    Those who keep harping “read the bill first” haven’t actually read it themselves.

  47. Roxio says:
    October 7th, 2009 9:34 pm

    Here is an excerpt from NYT’s article published today:

    “The section of the legislation that has outraged the army says the secretary of state must report to Congress every six months on whether the government is exercising “effective civilian control over the military.”

    The secretary must assess the extent to which the civilian government has oversight over the military chain of command, promotion of generals and the military budgets, provisions that even Pakistani politicians have taken strong exception to as meddling in Pakistan’s own business.”

    Now “effective civilian control over the military.”actually means that someone like Asif Zardari should have complete control over promotions and postings within the army.
    God forbid if that were to happen,you can expect doomsday scenario for this country.

  48. ShahidnUSA says:
    October 7th, 2009 9:35 pm

    Wow! How dramatic. Just the way I like it.
    Good job Mr Adil
    Anyway
    “What do you mean you dont have any record of how my taxpayers money was spent”. Kerry said
    “What do you mean I wont get any penny. This has never happened before” Army general said
    “We will spread the hate for you all over the country through our Mullahs”. Someone with a transplant said

    “We dont want any competency test. I failed my english reading test in 8th grade”. Prime minister said

    “And if this money would see the light of the day by a poor person spent on education or infrastructure or on small buisnesses. Or would it just go back where it came from
    through Umras and Doras and weapons buying.”
    Shahid said

  49. PAKISTANI says:
    October 7th, 2009 10:56 pm

    To all who parrot Hillary’s “read the bill” like MQ, have you read the bill yourself?

    Go read it and pay attention to Section 203.C on certification, it calls for access to Pakistan’s nuclear scientists, ceasing support of anti-India groups, names Quetta and Muridke by name and asks for certification of the military and intelligence apparatus.

    Here it is:
    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-3642

  50. awaam says:
    October 8th, 2009 5:48 am

    Kerry Luger Bill has created a lot of furore in Pakistan. While government is portraying it as an achievement it has many detractors who say we are selling the nation…
    At awaam we have decided that you can read the bill for yourself and decide…

    http://awaam.wordpress.com/2009/10/04/kerry-luger-bill/
    http://awaam.wordpress.com/2009/10/08/opposing-kerry-lugar/

  51. Jaffy says:
    October 8th, 2009 7:17 am

    This is just the beginning, soon our scientist and academics will be slaughtered just like they are doing in Iraq.

    AQ Khan will not be the only on hit list. All nuclear scientist will be hunt down by Mossad agents and assets until no one is left. Part of this bill is just laying groundwork for that.

    All of those who sing western tunes and believe this is a conspiracy theory must read this:
    http://www.axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/article_21935.shtml

  52. SaffronR says:
    October 8th, 2009 1:32 pm

    You guys sure do protest too much, this is just a bill yaar, ISI, Pak Army can still keep doing whatever it wants. Tis is just a way of the yamrikis to show, ‘look we holdin the pakistanis to the phire on aid’ to the kufr Bharathis. Its NObama campaign promise foolphillment, is all. No free dole-outs nymore. Surely its not the case, Paks have had the better deal with the yamrikis in the past, will continue doing so in the future. Inshallah.

  53. Ashu says:
    October 8th, 2009 3:13 pm

    I am totally confused.. I am indian and I regularly visit this blog to make myself aware more about Pakistan, its people, its culture and mainly what in general people thoughts about global scenario..
    Most of the people here I will say very liberal, and supporting the K-L bill for various reason and also some raising minor concerns but majority janata is supporting the bill…
    Things are completely different in other Pakistani Blogs ( like Pakisan ka Khuda hafiz), where people are extremely opposed for this Bill and many of people are endorcing some scholar’s ( Mr. Zaid Hamid) views.. I don’t know anything about this person & not heard much this name before.. Is he someone in Govt pioneering the movement against bill? … so what majority of Pakistan thinks over this bill ?

  54. Roxio says:
    October 8th, 2009 5:13 pm

    Its time to stop harping “read-the-bill-first” mantra.
    I have read the bill myself so I can say with confidence,it is certainly not in Pakistan’s interest to accept the money and then go about carrying out the instructions from the Pentagon.
    The bill is not a holy scripture that everyone must read it.
    Thousands of Pakistani journalists have read it and they are all against it.So everybody cannot be wrong.

  55. ASAD says:
    October 8th, 2009 5:20 pm

    Very interesting argument by Roxio.

    He/she wants people NOT to read the Bill and just take his/her word for it.

    I wonder why?

    Interesting also, that both Roxio and the government of India do not like the Kerry Lugar Bill. I wonder why?

  56. Ayaz says:
    October 9th, 2009 6:52 am

    I think Govt Should seriously take stand before drafting the Bill now It will create more complexities..
    Jobs in Pakistan
    http://bayrozgar.com/blog/2008/08/08/job-search-interview-background/

  57. October 9th, 2009 11:49 am

    its quite alarming situation that Army and nation is on one side and President on the other!!
    After giving a firm message to the visiting USA general, Army has played its role!

  58. ratee says:
    October 10th, 2009 12:18 am

    Pakistan Army has again protected the nation by standing up against this bill. USA has no option they will have to change the bill because they need Pakistan’s help more than Pakistan needs them at this time. So Pakistan always stand up for your rights!!

    The Pakistani Government does not realize the value of Pakistan and is ready to sell the lives of our people very cheaply. Look how many lives, quality of life and money Pakistan has lost because of doing exactly as the masters in Washington demanded. Enough is enough!!!!

    We need a self respecting Government if there is one available and if this one does not change its direction very soon?

  59. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    October 10th, 2009 2:09 am

    The role zardari’s regime had to play, it was done by the Army. Army once again cleverly gained score in the eyes of common Pakistanis while stupid democratic government continued toe licking mantra to earn more dollars.

    One can understand why Army is against the bill. Offcourse they will not have free hands for “Ayyashi” in the name of defense budge.

    As it’s quite clear the main purpose of this bill to “take away” nuclear stuff from Pakistan and getrid of Pakistani scientists including AQ Khan, the reaction by so called “patriotic” politicians and Army is quite valid.

    As far as desi Mir Sadiqs like blacksheeps favoring for the bill then it’s quite understandable. A class which has been busy in licking toes of foriengers for 200+ years can’t get rid of slavery at all.

  60. Mubashir says:
    October 10th, 2009 2:46 am

    I read almost all comments and it is very difficult for me to claim that the bill is good or bad for us.

    However i shall only state that its true that this bill will surely bring development and prosperity in country but who will suffer from the strings attached to the conditions. US will surely demand an action against militants in Wazirstan and who will fight there? Definitely our army brothers, who will die there? Will their families be in a position to enjoy all the developments made by the aid? Who can gaurantee that the money will be spent for development purposes and not to provide lesiure to the adminstration?

    These questions are still leaving me undecided about the implications of bill. Thats why i put before you to discuss and analyze.

    Mubashir AJK

  61. Imtiaz says:
    October 10th, 2009 5:23 pm

    Saw this post used as an op-ed in The News.

    http://thenews.jang.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=202516

    Well done ATP and Prof. Najam, this really IS the blog of choice for all Pakistanis and for many including me it is the most reliable and reasonable place where real feelings of real Pakistanis can be read.

  62. Riaz Haq says:
    October 10th, 2009 7:49 pm

    It appears that the whole process by which the US aid package has been handled by the US and Pakistani governments is proving to be counterproductive, jeopardizing the chances of peace and stability in the region. Not only has it angered both the military and the public in Pakistan, it has the potential of seriously hurting political stability in Pakistan, further diminishing the chances of economic recovery in the near future, and it is reducing the probability of success against the perpetrators of terror. In sensitive relationships like the one between US and Pakistan, there should have been a lot more quite diplomacy and much less public display of the US pressure and growing presence in Pakistan.

    Rather than further inflame the already explosive situation by unnecessary rhetoric, it is time for both governments to try and salvage the relationship, and their common fight against the terrorists, by engaging in serious damage control on both sides.

    http://www.riazhaq.com/2009/10/pakistanis-see-us-as-biggest-threat.html

  63. AHR says:
    October 10th, 2009 11:26 pm

    The substance of the Kerry-Lugar is beneficial for the country, now and in the near future. We should criticize the language but not the matter itself. The conditions are not binding on anyone. We do not owe any country anything. It is not a bilateral treaty. Today’s terrorist attacks on the country’s army headquarters just prove that we need assistance in rooting out this menace of terrorism

    http://ahraza.wordpress.com/2009/10/08/lets-not-kill-the-moment/

  64. ASAD says:
    October 11th, 2009 11:18 am

    Seems like the first casualty of this whole Bill will be Husain Haqqani!

    Just left a longer message and latest news on this on yor post with the full text of the Kerry-Lugar Bill.

  65. ch irfan says:
    October 11th, 2009 1:52 pm

    Kerry Luger bill is the height of disgrasement to any sovereign country.our leaders who r involved to made our nation and military embraced in assisting Americans to form this order of slavery should be punished like the way traitors are punished.

  66. Hassan says:
    October 11th, 2009 9:01 pm

    Dear Prof. Najam. This is the most reasoned and level-headed analysis of this situation that I have read.

    I read your article in The News and then searched for you on google to find this excellent website you have and see that you had also posted it here.

    I wish our media could present analysis rather than advocacy and information and then let people decide themselves instead of telling them what to think.

    I think your analysis is excellent and right: until there is trust between the two no matter what the Bill says, the reaction on both sides will be the same.

  67. Shahid says:
    October 13th, 2009 7:02 pm

    US doesn’t trust Pak Govt due to CORRUPTION. But there is NOTHING about corruption in the bill. We should eat GRASS but never sign accept this bill.

  68. Taimur says:
    October 14th, 2009 6:26 pm

    Just stumbled on this video of Prof. Najam talking about US-Pakistan relations. I think this was before the Bill debate. But very articulately done.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8tl-cU8GTU

    Well done sir.

  69. Farrukh says:
    October 14th, 2009 7:06 pm

    Yes, very nicely stated.

    By the way, I heard that he has interviewed John Kerry for Geo TV on the Kerry-Lugar Bill. Is that right?

  70. Wasim says:
    October 15th, 2009 2:45 am

    Very nice interview Adil Bhai.

  71. Sally Davis says:
    October 15th, 2009 10:18 am

    The US has donated zillions to Pakistan over the years, and most of it went to Swiss Banks in private accounts. Now the US is trying to get some accountability, producing sulks and annoyance among the potential donees. Too bad if accountability is now being demanded–it is certainly long overdue. Something for nothing, one hopes, is no longer going to dominate foreign aid.

  72. Irfanullah says:
    October 16th, 2009 11:55 am

    Yes, I saw Adil Najam interviewing Kerry on the KLB. It was a very good interview. Tough questions asked respectfully. I cannot find it on teh web, although ever silly interview by every otalk show joker seems to be there.

    Mr. Najam, could you please upload that interview for us all to see and comment on.

  73. AHMAD says:
    October 16th, 2009 1:48 pm

    I also could not find Adil Najam’s interview of John Kerry on youtube. If anyone has link, please give. Would like to see it.

    But I did find the two VOA interview. They were very good.

    Also, this funny one. Very nice:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze2Cs9Z6cXM

  74. Junaid says:
    October 17th, 2009 1:44 pm

    Nice video. Specially the 2 part interview.

  75. shahla says:
    March 2nd, 2010 4:14 pm

    yeah, Kerry Lugar bill should be studied with its pros and cons.

  76. d says:
    March 6th, 2010 5:40 pm

    THEY NEED IT MORE THAN US!

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