Islamabad: As the Obama administration mulls over the channels to deliver economic aid to Pakistan, a Pakistani expert has warned that sending money directly to the Pakistan government would be a bad idea.
“If Pakistanis want to steal money, they’ll know how to do it in their own backyard. And you’ll never know,” the Daily Times quoted Pakistani columnist Musharraf Zaidi, as saying.
According to a spokesperson of Deputy US Secretary of State, Jack Lew, the US is planning to scale back its use of foreign aid contractors in Pakistan and wants to funnel more money directly to the government and local groups.
The state is “moving in the right direction as quickly as possible while ensuring that essential services are not disrupted in the process”, Lew said.
Richard Holbrooke, the special envoy who oversees the majority of US policy in Pakistan and Afghanistan, has also said he wants to reduce the role of such contractors and favours steering more aid through the governments of both countries.
The White House, meanwhile, is not comfortable with giving money directly to Islamabad.
A July report for Harvard University entitled ‘US Aid to Pakistan — US Taxpayers Have Funded Pakistani Corruption’ claimed that US officials have been unable to monitor aid to the Tribal Areas because of the danger involved in travelling to the remote regions.