American food vs military aid

American food vs military aid

Acknowledging mistakes is a prerequisite to building a healthy, honest relationship. Only then can a mutual vision be defined and pursued in the search of a better tomorrow.

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton again lamented America’s ‘incoherent’ dealings with Pakistan over the last 30 years. She made it clear that Washington had abandoned Islamabad once the Soviets were forced to withdraw from Afghanistan. It was also implied that the US had supported military dictators instead of the people of Pakistan. She announced an additional $110m in emergency relief for persons displaced by the fighting in Malakand.

According to the Dawn newspaper’s editorial on Thursday, the suffering in the region is acute and America has done well to extend a timely helping hand. Food from the US will win more friends among the people than the delivery of weapons to the army. invites its readers to debate whether this strategy will work.


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56 Responses to “American food vs military aid”

  1. Tariq Mahmood says:

    This is not a strategy but emergent need. Anyhow we must create a sence of honour in us respect ourself. Our enemy is not America! but our ignorance and lack of respect for this god gifted homeland. Food help is good but army help is also required.
    We thank America for help, even if they will help we have to fight with these shepherd guised wolves who are prone to degrade the enlightened religion of our beloved prophet.

  2. Abdul Mujeeb Khan says:

    USA and Pak should open training institutions for IDPs:

    Thank you very much for your acknowledging your past slip-up. I’m really appreciating your sprite for the people of Pakistan. As you said that; we are responsible for this ongoing muddle in Pakistan. I hope your familiar about current situation in NWFP. Pakistani government is struggling to smooth down this anarchy with utilizing best available resources. But disorder is not so easy that only Pakistani government can overcome quickly. Both Pakistani and USA government are equally responsible to handle this problem that can affect positively for this community. 3 millions helpless IDPs are immediately need attention of both US and Pakistani government. If we sort-out students from IDPs. For example half million is the total students population then your government would be responsible for 2, 50000 students education and similarly 2, 50000 Pakistani govt. Both should immediately open IT training schools, nursing, and vocational schools for IDPs for three years; where they can get free life skill training and education. I think to do this, would give gigantic positive results for tribal areas of Pakistan and help improve image of both governments

  3. Absar says:


    The question that tickles me is why Pakistan can’t have Nukes for self-defense when countries like India, Israel, US, China, France, Russia, Britain etc. possess Nukes too.

    I’m against Nukes altogether. But when other countries can have Nukes merely for self-defense then why not Pakistan for the same ostensible reason.

    About the food US is providing to Pakistani IDPs, I think saying a ‘thank you’ in response isn’t compulsory. I don’t want to dive in the sea of ethics and morals — which aren’t a part of Washington – so expect the same from a lot of people here. Nonetheless, I pay my regards. Pardon me for any words you didn’t like here.

    Believe it or not, Pakistanis en masse work hard to see a good future of the country – not to see the drone attacks that kills 100’s of innocents. Btw, how many direct/indirect wars US has fought to date?

  4. Gary says:

    The essence of the whole issue of aid is that what is this aid going to substitute? Utilisation of American aid to Pakistan is a history of unaccountability and misappropriation as I would say aided and abetted by the Americans themselves. Americans have often turned a blind eye to the utilisation of its aid to countries where it suites them to achieve their aims.

    Today why Pakistan needs aid is due to Pakistan following an American agenda since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The made you do the dirty job, made some Pakistanis filthy rich and then left it to the Pakistanis to clean up the muck. Pakistanis on their part because of their paranoia about India wanted the Americans close to them and the American money to buy arms to counter India. Between America, Pakistan and China, everything written in the book relating to Nuclear and Missile Proliferation was ignored and violated.

    Dear people of Pakistan if you use American money to buy food and run your country and you use Pakistani money to buy arms to match up India militarily you perhaps know the direction you are heading in. India has an enormous capacity to increase its military spending without getting in to debit trap. Indian economists are very smart and clever to that. India has to match upto China militarily; we have lot of unfinished agenda with China. It is this perilous arms race that Pakistan wants to join in and run itself out. As long as these agendas are pursued Pakistan has no where to go but to be at the mercy of aid giving nations who at one time may start to dictate to Pakistan their internal policies. Aid is a double edged sword given for a particular purpose and this sword can be used to extract a “Pound Of Flesh”. A pound of flesh where the sovereignty of Pakistan as a nation becomes a questionable issue.

    American tax payer has no love lost for Pakistan, it is the US government that has an agenda. I would say that you thank the Americans, keep them at a distance; clean up the mess in your country, shore up you economy and move on. Take India as an example and not as an adversary.

  5. ak says:

    Does it matter what label the aid is given under arms or food? Do you think the current corrupt leadership will allow the Pakistani people to benefit either way?

  6. Kevin says:

    I am 60 yrs old and during my lifetime I rarely see any Country say “thank you” for the aid that the American Taxpayers provide. Over the yrs it has become an entitlement. Pakistan is no exception.

    On any given day you can read plenty of nasty quips on Dawn about how American is the root of all your problems .. but that’s just nonsense and fortunately it sounds like some Pakistani’s are figuring that out.

    The largest barrier to Pakistan/USA relations was your decision to develop NUKES – pretty much the same problem that the USA had with India. In hind site I suspect many people would argue that India and Pakistan would have been better off w/o nukes as their enormous expense has not increased security.

    Believe it or not – American taxpayers have to work hard to pay taxes and most American’s are just ordinary people with little excess cash to spend on people who don’t appreciate their effort.

    Sometimes a simple “thank you” goes a long way.

  7. Proud Pakistani says:

    Assalam-Alaikum Public-e-Pakistan

    My respected friends, the issue we are dealing is like a cancer and we are consistently trying to cure it with chemotherapy, which won’t eliminate the disease. We need to be like Armstrong, don’t give in and certainly don’t give up. Every nation goes through with this menace of civil wars, political drama and economy being not stable, due to the system we follow is non workable. The problem lies in every root of the nation, may it be law and order, judiciary, constitution, public sectors or private sectors. I mean everything is a mess. We need to build ourselves before we can build the nation. We need to educate ourselves and than educate the people around us. By education I mean is education of the world and as well as our beautiful deen (religion). “Knowledge is power” and with this power any nation can rule the world. Regardless of land size and population. See Deen’s education will provide us with everyday life style in a perfect manner and wordly education will strive us to enhance technology. By respected brothers don’t jeopardize education for any reason what so ever.

  8. Syed says:

    America is the core of all problems. Does anyone think that Pakistani people fighting against Taliban is not admitting the faults? But America only admits the fault through the word of mouth, action is yet to be taken. They are still using Pakistanis for their own war. They should also come forward with their flesh and soul and kill as much Taliban as possible without killing innocent people. But can u expect that it will do this. No way. Moreover, what have they done to Iran? Iraq? … Why don’t they stop it?

  9. profileae says:

    Aid from US no problem , my only submission is that a body be formed to regulate its distribution for obvious reasons.

  10. SC Batra says:

    I feel bad that area now in pak was granery of India before partition and is now not able to provide food.

    Forget politics, lets work hard to solve the food shortages.

    We can do it and we will do it.

  11. Vienna,23-05-2009
    There are two sides to a single coin.What all my young friends need is to see that.With dedicated work for the welfare of fellow citizens less fortunate you will over come.That apart,where Americans or others tend to use you be careful.In the past,it was with full co-operation of the so called Pakistan leadership citizens were dumped
    in favour of dollars!-kulamarva balakrishna

  12. Mr Revolution says:

    In todays world, one cannot isolate one self from others and live a life in isolation.
    Nations need one another to benefit from and to deal with terrorism is just one front where inter nation co-operation is required.
    I appreciate and honor the statement made by Mrs Clinton and accepting ones mistakes does not make one weak but speaks volumes of good spirit and character on that persons behalf,Some thing that the people of Pakistan should learn as well.
    Now if Mrs Clinton really means what she says and she wishes to do it right this time around ,then she should know that its never about giving food, or money or AID but it is TO WHOM it is given.Considering the corrupt leaders that represent this nation,i dont believe it would really matter what ever kind of help the US wishes to give.
    The true solution to beating terrorism is to give the population of Pakistan a decent quality/standard of living.And the US has always tried to do that,by giving AID.But when that Funding has been walloped up by the higher ups, one expects the people of this country to suffer more.With Injustices ,tyranny by the governmet and a poor quality of life ,one is by default , forced to tilt towards fighting against the state..You cannot blame the masses.This state of affairs would arise even in the US,if there government started tormenting and abusing there own people.
    So its not whether you give food or money or whether a general or a democratic party runs the show.Its whether you clean up the act at the top that has been going on for the last 60 years or so and let the Aid( whatever it maybe) flow down to the deserving and help them come forward and build the country to a prosperous future.America wants more friends from pakistan, then correct the govt and put honest people up there,because the corrupt system wont allow that to happen.Then the whole nation will stand up and salute them.

  13. Indian Kashmiri says:

    I think if Pakistan was aid so badly, I am sure the Indians can help them. India has donated more than $2billion in Afghanistan, and heavily donates to Nepal, Srilanka, Bhutan and Bangladesh.

    I am sure India can spare few millions to Paki’s as well

  14. Dotherighthing says:

    Ken…why would companies move their call centers to pakistan. These are business decisions made on the basis of factors like rule of law, a labor population that is educated, competent and has the right work ethics, a stable economy, reliable and strong economic and judicial instituations, a stable political climate and security. None of which is seen in pakistan.
    By the way, what is ISO 900. did you mean ISO 9000. Any way the certification is not for the goods but for the company and its processes. Again to do with some of the factors I mentioned above.
    pakistan has a long way to go before it starts being able to do these things. It can start by focusing on the real welfare of its people instead of basing all its actions on hatred of India.

  15. Zafari says:

    We destroyed their own crop and now made them as well as ourselves carry a begging bowl to the world.

    When the operation was started on ouw own accord,I fail to understand why we could not wait for a few weeks till the harvesting over there was complete, at least some of the promised aid had arrived and some of the camps and other facilities for IDPs were made ready in advance.

    Was it just to make the President’s visit to USA look successful?

    Instead of asking for food or arms, we should beg them to wash their hands from this self created theater of war and go back home.

  16. Raj says:

    What Pakistan really needs to do is to become self reliant country. Living on disability checks from US will never be good for Pakistan leading to plethora of other issues.Corrupt politicians and Islamic fanatics need to be overthrown. I do beleive younger Pakistan generation want to grow globally and venture out. Pakistan has never really grown out of from its political power grabbers since independence & poor man gets trampled. Pakistan needs to grow economically, they need to work hard to get their country on track rather being lead by fanatics. India wants all its neighbours to have economic stability and thus SOUTH ASIAN stability.

  17. Malik says:

    Atleast the American’s are admitting to their faults. Do you think anyone in the Muslim world would do this.
    Pakistan Army has to be blamed for the current situation. If they really wanted they would have done somthing to improve the infrastructure of Pakistan rather then talking over civilian government every few years.

  18. Malik says:

    Atleast the American’s are admitting to their faults. Do you think anyone in the Muslim world would do this.
    Pakistan authorities have to be blamed for the current situation. If they really wanted they would have done to improve the infrastructure of Pakistan.

  19. Prof Ramesh C Manghirmalani-Paris says:

    What my Pakistani friends don’t understand it that the new world is not about guns and bombs. It is about the economy and stability. The new Superpowers will be Economic powers and politically stable – Vibrant and colorful India is one of them.( They might have difference of opinions among themselves ) China is a economic super power but it is not a democracy and that is where they will have a problem in years to come. China has seen over 52,837 public protests over the last year. As people get affluent they want to have rights and that is what is happening in China now. No communist country has been able to make the transition to democracy peacefully and this is going to be China’s problem . They have unemployment higher than any one in the world. I hope they succeed. So my Pakistani Bhai friends – think about the economy and democracy not about weapons, religion or Kashmir ( India already gave you 1/3rd – be happy with that) and you too will be powerful and the US and the World will come knocking at your door.The other point is the instability of the Government, The US may not be sure of who will lead Pakistani politics in future. Could it be a Islamic fundamentalist group who are anti-USA. Taking all these considerations in to account. How do you think will USA enter a nuclear treaty with Pakistan. Over the past few years China’s government has come under considerable international pressure — primarily from the US — to upwardly re-value its currency. China has acquiesced to this pressure to a certain extent and has allowed its currency (the Yuan) to rise from a rate of around 8.2 per US$ to the current level of around 7.4 per US$, equivalent to a gain of approximately 10%. A 10% change in the Yuan-per-US$ rate is significant, but with reference to the following chart notice that the Yuan’s recent gains pale in comparison to the losses it incurred during the first half of the 1990s. In fact, the Yuan will have to gain another 23% just to get back to where it was 13 years ago. This, perhaps, is an indication of the currency’s additional upside potential. If China and Pakistan do not change there attitude to world perspective they are History. Look for mankind USA and Russia are already dominant power, China was last one to join UN in 40’s

  20. Jodhbir Singh says:

    I agree that giving military aid more than economics aid is the mistake the US would be going to make again. Actually, I think they have still not understood the culture of south Asia well enough. As long as they do not treat the lives of people in Pakistan or Afghanistan like that of their own citizens, it will be hard for them to win our hearts.
    But the good thing is that, the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton admitted it openly that US policy towards South Asia was not of nation building. On the other hand, the Pakistani military has now to some extent understood that the real enemy is not India rather the monster,Taliban, that they created with the help of US.

  21. ulfar says:

    The problems faced by Pakistan are its own doing, and if it expects US to bail it out, that might be simple day dreaming. US has always cared for its own interests, and taken actions which matched them and Food vs military aid is just a temporary glib.

    What Pakistan really needs is a stable democracy where its leader really works for Pakistan rather than his own pocket. I am surprised how can a legislation giving amnesty to corrupt politicians be passed and accepted by the people of Pakistan? And how can people elect the same set of corrupt people again and again?

    People talk about Kashmir oppression and killings. Sorry, but India never marched its tanks on civilians, like the manner it is done in Swat right now. And btw, more than 65% Kashmiri’s voted this election and choose their own government. Kashmiri’s even rejected Sajjad Gani Lone, the sole separatist leader by a huge margin.

    I see no reason why a healthy democratic setup can’t be established in troubled parts of Pakistan, where the government works for the good of the people rather than its own pockets.

  22. Avinash says:

    The shift in US policy is very positive and an opportunity to strengthen US, Pakistan and India relationship. Unfortunately, the impediment are going to be past relationship. The people of Pakistan has to raise their voice for what is good for their country in long term. Very critical is that Kashmir issue has to be put aside because that really has harmed Pakistan more than anything else in last 60 years.

    The bottom line is if Pakistan is a prosperous country it will be lot easier to resolve Kashmir issue. I am not saying forget Kashmir, I am saying build your country, relationships with neighbors first.

  23. Ken says:

    I think Pakistan is playing its part based on principle of fairness to destroy the terrorism, I think India and Israel should also play their part and should also take the long due initiative and recognized the rights of Kashmirs and Palestinians.
    Canada is also good example to follow. They gave Quebec right to referendumand put an end to a long standing issue.
    I think the principles of democracy should be applied across the board, should not be selective.
    I think the human nature always find its path like water to counter humiliation and justice.
    And things balance out, though sometimes the results are late.
    I think India and Israel should take the initiative for their own good in the long term.

  24. Yawar Shah says:

    We applaud US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her courage, to admit that the US policy had not been fair to Pakistan over the years, though Pakistan has done more for the US, then any other country during and after the Cold War.

    In 1950/60s, America and Pakistan were close allies. America U2 spy planes flew high altitude missions from Pakistani airbases over Soviet Union, this was vital for the US, before spy satellites were invented and deployed.

    In 1970s, Pakistan helped bring about US and China rapprochement, it was vital for world peace and prosperity.

    In 1980s, Pakistan became the front line state, fighting Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, which resulted in the demise of the Soviet empire and the Berlin Wall.

    In 1990s and subsequently, Pakistan again became front line state against the War on Terror. Pakistan deserves full support, military and economic, fighting for the US and the world. Given the magnitude of the problem, Pakistan needs a Marshall Plan to help build it’s economy, just as Europe was helped after the Second World War.

    In all this one American stands out, he has done more to win the hearts and minds of people of Pakistan, then the last few US administrations. This superman, this hero, is Greg Mortenson, everyone should read his incredible book, “Three Cups Of Tea”, a New York Time Bestseller and Time magazine Asia Book of The Year. Greg loved climbing mountains, he climbed Pakistan’s K2 mountain, the second highest in the world, seeing so much poverty yet such loving people of Northern Pakistan, he promised to build a school. He has built 78 schools so far, he did the impossible, he has dedicated his life to promote education in remote areas of Pakistan for peace and prosperity. Thank you Greg, we Pakistanis love you and salute you, we hope the new Obama administration is inspired by your miracle, to promote peace and prosperity not just in Pakistan, but in that war-torn and impoverished region. This is in the best interest of the US and the world.

  25. Jerry says:

    Throughout its history, Pakistan has been run by corrupt policians and dictators. The country has been exposed to such severe situations that it has started delusioning that AID is its RIGHT. It has to remember that aid is voluntary. Do bad deeds and the aid disappears. on Facebook on Facebook