Forwarded by: KHalid Hashmani (McLean, Virginia, USA)
Selig Harrison’s “Pakistan – The State of the Union” report
is worth reading by the ruling elite and the military boys in Punjab. It show how many of the problems that the country faces can be linked to the usurping of funds from Baluchistan and Sindh for development of the military and Punjab in general.
There has been enormous waste and amazing diversion of development and military funds to areas that was definitely not intended.
Harrison for example states that since 1954 $17.5 Billion in military aid has been given to Pakistan, making it into a behemoth uncontrollable by civilian governments. Where has the money gone? Some of this is known of course. $ 40-80 M spent on each of the F-16 fighter planes that young men fly to burn jet fuel knowing pretty well that they cannot be used in combat against India. Meanwhile 3M Swatis suffer due to lack of timely action by the military against the insurgents.
Will the new military and development aid coming to Pk as promised by Obama and his men be properly accounted for? This will not happen unless the Americans set up an accounting office here and make sure that it can verify each item, for in the past there has been much swindling and diversion. Then again, maybe not, as the last website below shows.
But the demand for aid, loan write-off and handouts is spurious because, as the Harrison report again points out, the military own nearly $ 38 B in assets such as Fauji Foundation, Askari Bank, etc. These assets need to be privatized and money received should be used to payoff loans or help real development rather than pump that money into the army’s coffers or spent on Punjab’s development.
Meanwhile, in the “ever-efficient” USA…
The financial news media focuses on the “green shoots” of the economy. Well, when you pump a few trillion into the economy, you should get something for it. But one thing we’re not getting is accountability. Already, over 1/3 of a trillion of the bailout money is being declared “missing in action.” And the official responsible considers it a joke.
The Pakistani media remains quiet about this. This is partly because the media owners gain from the exploitation of the minority provinces and also because they do not wish to annoy the establishment. On top of this, top journalists have been bought by the government agencies – some of you will have read about the free plots being given away to them to keep them toeing the government line.
There is a need for an alternative media in Pakistan, largely available via the Net. But here one cannot just rely on volunteers. Checking and editing of reports is essential (and expensive) or else one will almost certain end up with disinformation, as often served by Taliban-lovers like Ansar Abbasi, Hamid Mir and Kamran Khan, and a whole lot of other easily corruptible journos who seem to have taken over the electronic and print media.
Funding for a reliable alternative media outlets should be the top priority for those who wish Pakistan well.
Finally Sister and Brothers please read in detail the recommendation of Harrison, but for your convenience here are the 12 points:
1. Support Civilian Governance
2. Promote Demilitarization
3. Encourage respect for the Constitution
4. Pushtunize the war against Al Qaeda
5. Earmark US aid for Sind and Balochistan
6. Make Defense Spending transparent
7. Set the stage for negotiations with the Baluch
8. Implement the 1973 Constitution
9. End economic exploitation of the minority provinces
10. Empower local government
11. Recognize ethnic identitites
12. Strengthen the power of the Senate
Courtesy: http://www.ciponline.org/asia/reports/pakistan _the_state_ of_the_union.pdf