The Kerry-Lugar Bill: An Insult and A Disgrace

The Pakistani political scene is suddenly buzzing about the Kerry-Lugar bill, which has been passed by the US senate by an overwhelming majority. The bill will triple non-military aid to Pakistan with health and education sectors receiving the most part of the aid, but the local media, opposition leaders and now the army are bashing about ‘certain clauses’ present in the bill, which according to them are insulting and compromise Pakistan’s sovereignty.

So I decided to read the bill myself to get to know whats all the fuss about. (You can read the full text of the bill here). Indeed some of the clauses present in the bill are a disgrace to Pakistan.

First off, Clause C, 1 which states that “(1) 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;”. Are you kidding me ? You want direct access to our nationals, we are a sovereign country, not a U.S. state. Will the US ever provide direct access to an American citizen if our government wants to ? Definitely no.

Clause C, 2, states that that the Pakistani government must demonstrate its commitment towards combating terrorism, and then falsely apprehends the ISI and Pakistan Army’s involvement in terrorism, “ceasing support, including by any elements within the Pakistan military or its intelligence agency, to extremist and terrorist groups, particularly to any group that has conducted attacks against the United States or coalition forces in Afghanistan, or against the territory or people of neighbouring countries”; (i.e. India). Is the US government holding the Pakistani state responsible for terror attacks in India ?

Moreover, the bill says that “The President shall develop a comprehensive interagency regional security strategy to eliminate terrorist threats and close safe havens in Pakistan, including by working with the Government of Pakistan and other relevant governments (again India) and organizations in the region and elsewhere, as appropriate, to best implement effective counterinsurgency and counter terrorism efforts in and near the border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, including the FATA, the NWFP, parts of Balochistan, and parts of Punjab”. Now the US will develop its own strategy to counter terrorism in our country, and will work with the Government of Pakistan when it wants to, but they ill definitely work with other “relevant governments”, who will they work with, China and Iran ? No, they will work with India. So now they will work with India to counter terrorism in Pakistan. An amazing strategy, not.

The bill also says tells Pakistan to “prevent attacks into neighbouring countries;”. I don’t need to tell again now who this neighboring country is. Hats off to the Indian lobby, they have what they wanted in the bill. Now the only thing they are waiting for is the official approval of the Government of Pakistan.

President Zardari says the bill is a success of the democratic government, but it looks more like a success for India.

While I appreciate the US for willing to provide $1.5 billion per annum as an American grant for five years, the above mentioned clauses must be either edited, or completely removed, only then should the Government accept the bill. Otherwise the it should be outrightly rejected. The US should also ensure that the money is being used where it is meant for, and not in the hands of the corrupt ruling elite of Pakistan.

Update: The foreign office of Pakistan has just issued a statement declaring that the Kerry-Lugar bill is not a bilateral agreement, therefore, accepting all its clauses is not mandatory. More here

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About mak009x
A 15 year old O levels student, crazy about tech, loves politics!

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