Wealthy nations move to shore up Pakistan
In Tokyo, nearly 30 countries pledged $5.28 billion to bolster its weak economy and government.
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"It is not prudent to put conditions on assistance to Pakistan in an aid bill because it gives the wrong signal to the Pakistani people, and at the same time limits the options of the executive branch of the US government in the conduct of foreign policy," Mr. Haqqani told FOX News.Skip to next paragraph
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Some Pakistani experts, including author Ahmed Rashid, have warned that some of the toughest conditions added to a draft bill in the House – those that appear aimed at shaping Pakistan's foreign policy – would be difficult for any Pakistani government to commit to.
Analysts are divided over how much the US should continue to use aid to bend Islamabad toward Washington's security objectives – including the severing of all Pakistan's ties with militant groups. "I'm not sure how far the money carrot is going to break this bond. I'm skeptical about this," says Kaiser Bengali, an economic analyst in Karachi.
Ms. Fair argues for negotiation with Pakistan over the terms of the aid, and thinks accountability measures as well as inducements to tackle militancy should both be on the table.
"We want to make sure everyone is getting value from this expenditure, including the Pakistani government," says Fair. "I believe this with all conviction: the $11 billion given without stern accountability has made the Pakistani government less capable, not more."
For its part, the US government agency in charge of disbursing the sliver of non-military aid touts what some of that money has produced. The USAID website says that funds spent in the tribal areas have fixed 58 schools and helped raise vaccination levels from 30 percent to 41 percent. The money has also provided more than 65,000 microcredit loans, trained more than 20,000 election monitors, and trained 42 percent of the government primary school teachers in two of the nation's four provinces.
Yet, says Mr. Tellis, the international community has been giving money to help stabilize Pakistan since the 1950s and the question remains why it hasn't been more effective.
"We have done projects, but the projects have not translated into institutional change and this is the most serious risk we face today," says Tellis. He says that change must be insisted upon by donors as a quid pro quo – aid in exchange for the government doing a certain number of things. "The international community has never done the work required to figure out what those things were."
What's being funded is also a major concern of most experts. In the past two decades, international donors have moved away from giving money toward such projects like building power plants and roads, and opted instead to give it either to the military or to open-ended budgetary assistance to Pakistan, says Mr. Bengali.
"What that means is the government can continue to spend money on nondevelopment and nonproductive areas, and if it runs up a fiscal deficit, there are foreign loans available to bridge that gap," he says. "It's encouraged governments to be irresponsible."
In a nod to such concerns, Pakistan brought to the Tokyo conference a prioritized lists of projects. Fair, however, cautions that there are pitfalls in viewing development as a collection of projects rather than as a series of performance goals. For instance, in some countries the US ties education aid to academic testing, and expects to see improvement.
"You can build a school. That is the easy part," she says. "But unless you collaborate with your counterpart in the Ministry of Education, a year later, the schools becomes a storage shed."