Negotiations for Rafale aircraft acquisition are "on," says Indian Defence Minister Jaitley | Dassault's offer for ToT is also compliant to requirements, he said in Parliament July 22 | Notably, Air Chief Arup Raha had told India Strategic recently to expect an announcement "sooner than later" | Indian Budget 2014: Defence gets US$ 38 billion (Rs 229,000 crores) | Approx. $ 16 billion (Rs 95000 crores) should go towards overall modernisation and equipment | Finance (and Defence) Minister Arun Jaitley describes defence as a priority | Budget 2014 is higher by $ 4 billion over Budget 2013 | Welfare measures for military and paramilitary personnel also being strengthened | Defence acquisition procedures will be given speed, Jaitley saysFDI in Defence increased from 26% but limited to 49% | Limitation same for FDI in airlines, due to oppossition from Indian industrialists | Boeing, Emirates Finalize Order for 150 777Xs | US to sell 22 Harpoon Block II anti-shipping missiles to Indian Navy | India Puts Five Foreign Satellites in Space June 30 | Prime Minister Modi describes the Successful Launch as Global Endorsement of India's Space Capability | ISRO's PSLV rocket carried French, German, Canadian (two) and Singapore satellites | India has launched 40 foreign satellites to date since 1999 | India Decontrols Rules for Private Companies to make Defence Goods | Weapon Systsems like Aircraft, Tanks, Ships and Munitions will need Licences though | Indian Army's acquisition of 39 Boeing AH 64D Apaches also cleared | Indian Ministry of Defence in quick clearance mode for pending acquisition proposals | Defence Minister Arun Jaitley says armed forces will be given full support | US Air Force Awards Sikorsky $ 1.28 billion Contract to Develop New Combat Search & Rescue Helicopter | Lockheed Martin will fit major mission systems for the CSAR helicopter | New aircraft will be developed around Army's UH 60M Black Hawk stealthy variant used in Operation Geronimo | Total CSAR programme cost for 112 helicopters to touch $ 8 billion, says USAF | French Nexter ties with India's L&T and Ashok Leyland to make artillery guns for Indian Army | RUAG ties with Indian TASL to produce Dornier 228 NG for exports | TASL will initially make fuselages, and then possibly the full Dornier 228 - 212 NG aircraft | RUAG gives orders for 12 fuselages to Tata Advanced Systems Ltd | TASL also makes Sikorsky S 92 fuselages at Hyderabad in India | Boeing-led Missile Defense Team Achieves Intercept in Complex Exoatmospheric Flight Test | Boeing 737 MAX LEAP-1B Engine Begins Ground Testing | RUAG develops world's first Electronic Flare Simulator for testing and training |
  US 'pays-off' Pakistan to fight terrorism:
Congressmen skeptical
 
 
By Mahendra Ved Published : August 2007
 
     
New Delhi. Sceptical about the way Pakistan is using American money, US Congressmen have asked the Bush Administration to ensure that the money is used to fight terror and not to train guns at India.
 

American law-makers remain sceptical of the Bush administration's Pakistan policy. Congressman John Tierney urged the administration to ensure that the military support money went towards supplying equipment to fight terrorism, as opposed to bombers and submarines aimed at India.

But US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher told a Congressional panel last month: "We do try to do both...help Pakistan with legitimate defensive needs, with its ability to patrol in the Arabian Sea," and finance equipment and reimburse expenses for the war on terror.

Whatever be President Pervez Musharraf's commitment to combat terrorism, that shows results every time the United States threatens to launch operations from the Pakistani territory, the fact is that Pakistan gets paid more than $ 100 million a month by the US.

The payment is specifically for the deployment of 80,000 Pakistani troops on its border with Afghanistan, ostensibly for the war on terrorism. The situation is no different from what prevailed in the 1980s, when Pakistan was the "frontline" state in the West's anti-Soviet campaign in Afghanistan.

It is not a mere coincidence that within a week of the US saying that it planned to launch its anti-terror operations from Pakistani territory that Pakistani forces closed in on Abdullah Mahsud who had crossed over from Afghanistan's Helmand province, choosing the Balochistan route to sneak into his home base in the tribal non-man land of South Waziristan.

Mahsud blew himself to avoid being captured on July 24.

It is obvious that the US uses the carrot-and-stick policy with Pakistan: using threats and pressures to get it to act against the terrorists, and then paying off the Pakistani forces to guard their own border with Afghanistan.

However, the Bush Administration has to justify both its actions before its own lawmakers.

The American money is meant to be "reimbursements" to Pakistan "for stationing troops and moving them around, and for gasoline, and bullets, and training and other costs that they incur as part of the war on terror," Boucher told a Congressional panel last month.

"That's a lot of money," He admitted before the panel about what amounts to a $ 1.2 billion per year reimbursement. "I don't know if it comes to the whole amount of their expenses, but we support their expenses, yes."

In all, US aid to Pakistan is now close to $ 2 billion a year, according to figures provided by Boucher, the top U S diplomat for South Asia.

Besides, the $ 1.2 billion reimbursements, Washington also gave Pakistan an addition $ 738 million in 2006 in assistance programs me, including $ 300 million in separate military aid.

The overall figure would put Pakistan on par with Israel and Egypt - with a higher component ($ 1.5 billion) in overall military assistance - of the top three recipients of US aid.

The Pakistan allocations are being met with deep misgivings and scepticism in the US Congress and strategic circles where there are growing demands on the Bush administration to tie aid for Islamabad's military to its performance and delivery in the war on terror.

"There are far more jihadists, extremist madrassas, Al Qaida operatives, Taliban safe havens and international terrorist training camps than Pakistani government officials are willing to admit. Is our current aid package, one in which we are providing at least 10 times more for military aid than for basic education assistance, in the best long-term interest of United States national security?" asked Congressman John Tierney, who chaired a hearing focused exclusively on the Pakistan question.

"And how do we in Congress justify to the American people writing checks for billions of dollars to a regime that may not be the partner against terrorism the United States needs it to be, but may actually be hurting national security interests of the United States and our allies?" added Congressman Christopher Shays, after some of his colleagues pointed out that Pakistan was host to the world's most wanted men like Osama bin Laden, nuclear proliferators AQ Khan, and even gangsters and terrorists.

Boucher maintained that the money was well spent and there was some accountability involved.

"Some of our money that we give Pakistan is reimbursements and so there is, you know, conditions that we pay for things," he said, later elaborating that "Pentagon is in charge of getting receipts and making sure they know how that money is being spent in the right places."

"If they didn't have the 85,000 troops in the border area, God knows what would be going on out there - not anything we could deal with ourselves, I'm sure," Boucher added.

 
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