‘Kary Logar’ ain’t the issue

My article on the ‘Kerry Lugar Bill’ and the crisis Pk faces today – a slightly edited version of which was published in Dawn today as KLB is not the issue

Photo from the demonstration on Oct 11. Courtesy www.dawn.com

Photo from the demonstration on Oct 11. Courtesy http://www.dawn.com

‘Kary Logar’ ain’t the issue

Beena Sarwar

As pressure mounted in South Waziristan with the army action, and retaliatory bombings began, a demonstration in Karachi by parties that claim religion as their raison d’etre underscored some key conflicts Pakistan faces: the requirements of justice under due process of law versus tribal, extra-judicial punishments, tensions between the elected civilian government and the ‘establishment’, and conflict between a long-standing foreign policy versus new domestic compulsions.

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Kerry Lugar Bill – Myths, facts, and alternatives

Comment on the Kerry Lugar Bill from a friend, & the US  Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Press Release of Oct 8 (thanks to Shaheryar Azhar):

COMMENT:

1. The US is obviously – and understandably – concerned that their taxpayers’ money is used for illegal and dangerous activities such as nuclear proliferation. It is after all a US law that makes the US govt accountable to the US elected representatives about how US taxpayer money is spent. If they need to ensure that the monies they give us are NOT used for illegal and dangerous activities that is their prerogative. Why are we so jumpy? Anything to hide? If so, the alternative to Kerry-Lugar (which I will mention below) will be appropriate.

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Blackwater furore and Kerry-Lugar Bill fracas

57042031There’s been a lot of hype over ‘Blackwater in Pakistan’ and the Kerry Lugar Bill. Below, two items providing some facts and perspective on both issues.

1. KERRY LUGAR BILL – background and facts

The government should bring this bill for assent before the Pakistani parliament. This will call the bluff of all those who are thundering for the benefit of the media. Taking the KL Bill to parliament will have a dual affect. First, it will shut these nay-sayers up and second, it will provide the requisite legitimacy to this aid (which, unfortunately, we cannot do without after all these years of skewed financial policies). No political party that hopes to form government in Islamabad will formally vote against it. The government needs to pull itself together and put up a solid defence – ie. all the conditionalities are part of state policy anyway; it is the first time the US has committed itself to democracy and a democratic government in Pakistan. Any party opposing the Bill will send out the message that it does not own the current policies on counter terrorism and non-proliferation.

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