‘Aid-ending’ talks can affect US-Pak ties: Husain Haqqani

Pak Ambassador to US said Islamabad appreciates Washington`s assistance.

Washington: Talks in Washington about ending aid to Islamabad could affect ties between both the nations, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani has warned.

Addressing a Centre for Global Development event in Washington, Haqqani said that Pakistan and America are strategic partners, and it is necessary that Pakistan`s political issues be kept separate from its aid because both the countries are committed to eliminate terrorism collectively.

The Centre for Global Development recommended that the US should delay much of the USD 7.5 billion Kerry-Lugar-Berman aid package, especially in sectors where “serious flaws in public administration are the binding constraints to success, it would be better to backload the bulk of this extraordinary aid investment, to wait until critical policy questions are resolved.”

The report also stated that this caution is most advisable in sectors where the US has committed to disbursing its aid funding primarily through government channels.

Haqqani said that Pakistan appreciates the US assistance and understands that the American taxpayers should know about transparency and accountability in its use, but took issue with the notion that each time there is an issue between the two nations, the knee-jerk reaction on the Capitol Hill should be threats to cut off aid.

“Pakistan is a nation of 180 million people- it has a lot of diversity- and there are problems too… Discussion on Pakistan-US relations should not be aid-centred- but on partnership,” the Dawn quoted Haqqani, as saying.

He welcomed the recommendation that development assistance should be separated from security issues.

“There is no begging bowl. Pakistan and the United States are partners, trying to help each other,” Haqqani said.

The Pakistani envoy also asked critics to resist the short-sighted tendency to measure the outcome of aid in a simplistic manner by judging results from just a short period.

Assistance yields full results upon completion of projects, which is a multi-year process, he pointed out.


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