Thursday, October 23, 2008

Authority & Responsibility - 13

Syed Asif-ulhaq wrote:

Game Is Over For RAW, CIA & Their Collaborators In Zardari Govt. By SHIREEN MAZARI Friday, 8 August 2008.


Dear Asif Sahab,

Criticism and harsh comment are aimed at Born Again Pakistan First Type Shireen M Mazari [appointed as Director General Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) during a Pro American Military Regime of Pakistan i.e. 2002 - 2007]

I wonder what Ms Shireen M Mazari she was doing while in the Establishment if not reaping the benefits from the largees mentioned below. Where was the National Interest, National Conscience and Integrity. She must check her pay/salary cheque to ascertain from where the money came?

Where has US aid to Pakistan gone? Mariana Baabar

ISLAMABAD: The billions of dollars in US military aid to Pakistan since September 11, 2001, without any accountability, has now been billed as a “tsunami of new funding”.

Washington’s Centre for Public Integrity, in its report, says that today human rights activists, critics of the Pakistani government and members of Congress want to know, where most of the money — totalling in the billions — coming through a Defence Department programme, subject to virtually no Congressional oversight, has disappeared to.

The Centre says that this is a major finding of more than a year of investigation by the Centre for Public Integrity’s International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). US military aid to Pakistan since September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks includes almost $5 billion in coalition support funds, a programme controlled by the Defence Department to reimburse key allies in the global war on terror. Pentagon reports that the ICIJ obtained through the Freedom of Information Act requests show that Pakistan is the No 1 recipient of these funds — receiving more than 10 times the amount that went to the No 2 recipient, Poland — and that there is scant documentation of how the money was used.

“The American-supplied military arsenal has been used against Baloch nationalists,” Senator Baloch told ICIJ. He said he and others have gone to the State Department, “and the State Department says [the US has] given military hardware with no conditions.”

A former US official, previously based in Pakistan, acknowledged to the ICIJ that in Balochistan “the [Pakistani] army stepped in with a pretty heavy hand last year.”

U.S. Payments To Pakistan Face New Scrutiny Little Accounting for Costs To Support Ally's Troops By Robin Wright Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, February 21, 2008; Page A01

Once a month, Pakistan's Defense Ministry delivers 15 to 20 pages of spreadsheets to the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad. They list costs for feeding, clothing, billeting and maintaining 80,000 to 100,000 Pakistani troops in the volatile tribal area along the Afghan border, in support of U.S. counterterrorism efforts.

No receipts are attached.

In response, the Defense Department has disbursed about $80 million monthly, or roughly $1 billion a year for the past six years, in one of the most generous U.S. military support programs worldwide. The U.S. aim has been to ensure that Pakistan remains the leading ally in combating extremism in South Asia.

But vague accounting, disputed expenses and suspicions about overbilling have recently made these payments to Pakistan highly controversial -- even within the U.S. government.

The poor showing in Monday's parliamentary election by the party of President Pervez Musharraf, whose government has overseen local disbursement of the money, may make Congress look closer at all U.S. financial assistance to the country. Questions have already been raised about where the money went and what the Bush administration got in return, given that pro-American sentiment in Pakistan is extremely low and al-Qaeda's presence is growing steadily stronger.

In perhaps the most disputed series of payments, Pakistan received about $80 million a month in 2006 and 2007 for military operations during cease-fires with pro-Taliban tribal elders along the border, including a 10-month truce in which troops returned to their barracks.

The Bush administration has acknowledged some problems, but still says that the program -- part of a costly military effort known as the Coalition Support Fund -- is worth every penny. "Yes, we may have overpaid, but it's still a good deal," said a senior administration official involved in Pakistan policy, noting that more than 1,000 Pakistani troops have been killed while assisting Operation Enduring Freedom.

"Padding? Sure. Let's be honest, we're talking about Pakistan, which has a legacy of corruption," added another U.S. official familiar with past U.S. payments. "But if they're billing us $5 billion and it's worth only $4 billion, the question is whether it's worth nickel-and-diming it if it's such a top national security objective. If it's in the ballpark, does the bigger picture call for continuing on with a process that does generate significant progress on the war on terror? They do get their hands on people we can't."

U.S. officials say the payments to Pakistan -- which over the past six years have totaled $5.7 billion -- were cheap compared with expenditures on Iraq, where the United States now spends at least $1 billion a week on military operations alone.

"My sense is that the Pakistani military would not be out on the border if not for the Coalition Support Funds. That's the baseline cost of getting them out on a mission that is really our mission," said Craig Cohen, a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the author of a recent study on U.S.-Pakistan relations.

Yet the Bush administration has recently begun to scrutinize Pakistan's bills more closely. Washington delayed payment of about $78 million of $360 million for the March-June 2007 quarter now working its way through the reimbursement process. Pakistan will receive only $282 million later this month, U.S. officials said, with additional payment once it provides more detailed accounting.

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