Growing Number of Pakistanis Defend Importance of Kerry-Lugar Bill

Frustrated by the wailing from the bill’s opponents, Shakir Husain makes the perfect analogy for the Kerry-Lugar opposition’s poor manners.

It’s Bakra Eid and your neighbour sends you some meat from their goat which they have just slaughtered. You open the door and take the bloody tray. But then you send it right back saying that you didn’t like the cut which was sent over and that the tray was also not acceptable, and the neighbours should have put a better cloth to cover the meat. If you think this is bizarre then think again. This is exactly the discourse (if you can call it that) which is happening all over Pakistan today. If you think it’s ridiculous then think again because this is the stuff of late night television where political “analysts” are saying exactly this. If you think its rude then this is the stuff which Opposition politicians are using to hammer the government from all sides without mentioning that they loved Uncle Sam’s dollars when they were in power. Welcome to the Bakra Mandi where “analysis” occurs without even reading the content of this bill which is supposed to “erode” Pakistan’s sovereignty.

This is obviously political opportunism at its worst. We won’t go into the ridiculous details of the opposition’s false claims – these are well documented elsewhere. Instead, I’ll take a moment to highlight the growing number of Pakistanis that are speaking out loudly and sanely in favor of the Kerry-Lugar bill, and the friendship, partnership, and cooperation between the US and Pakistan that it represents.

Today’s PakTribune features a column by Muhammad Ahsan Yatu that speaks very clearly to the fact that Kerry-Lugar is in our interest.

Our economy may be big but our population and problems are much, much bigger. Given our resources which are almost negligible we need help. It is up to us to reject the Bill. The US can find new and willing friends; we cannot find a single friend who is willing to help us with as many dollars as are coming from the US. O.K., there are two more ways. We should reduce our security and administrative expenditures and tax the rich. It will help us generate at least as much capital as we require to feed ourselves. But who will bell the cat? Neither will army nor bureaucracy cooperate. We cannot collect the additional taxes either. The wealth and asset distribution in Pakistan is grossly disproportionate to what a functional state must have. The 5% among us own whatever wealth and assets Pakistan has and the rest live either below or on the poverty line. The irony is that our civil-military bureaucracy and landed and moneyed elites, who are also our rulers, make up our privileged 5% class. The other way is to turn to communism. It will jump-start our stalled economy and help us grow intellectually. We can after a decade turn to liberal economy as China did. But, there are no communists around.


Sadiq Saleem takes to task the number of Kerry-Lugar opponents who cry about about ‘Ghairat’ (national honor), mostly the Islamist political parties and right-wing conspiracy theorists who are taking over the television programmes. Saleem goes on to show very plainly the hypocrisy of these self-proclaimed defenders of Pakistan’s national honor:

The economies of nations grow through aid, trade, investment and productivity, That is how Japan and Germany overcame the destruction of World War II and South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia all became Asian tigers. Pakistan’s problem has been that we are aid dependent but instead of completing the cycle and moving towards the large scale investment and productivity stage our ‘Ghairat’ makes us abandon and restarts the cycle periodically.

The ‘Ghairat’ lobby is going ballistic with the Kerry-Lugar Bill, saying that the Americans want to dictate and control “our army” but the same lobby had no problems when in 2007 US aid was provided only when the American President certified that Pakistan had agreed to “undertake a comprehensive military, legal, economic, and political campaign to” “eliminate” groups like Taliban, al-Qaeda and others and Americans saw proof of the same.

The passage of Kerry-Lugar provided a special opportunity for opposition politicians, Islamists, and conspiracy-minded journalists to make a loud noise in an attempt to further their own careers. But the people of Pakistan – the REAL Pakistani nationalists – those who have endured years of political corruption, economic mismanagement, and attempts to please the radical militants who are now threatening our children – they have had enough and are beginning to speak out. Their voices will not be silent.

26 thoughts on “Growing Number of Pakistanis Defend Importance of Kerry-Lugar Bill

  1. Pakistan Must not take this Asshole Kerry-Lugar and get out from this USA Proxy WAR.

    then you see if today USA is giving 1.5 Billion ??? then USA maybe give you 100 Billion Dollars.

    USA is tied in Afghanistan now. USA Spend 8 years in Afghanistan just for nothing.

    History of Veitnam is returning in next 3 to 5 years maximum and we may see in our life another crash just like Russia…..

    Frustration of USA Army in Afghanistan and citizens of USA is increasing rapidly which is not good for USA Economy.. Other hand world is not making mind to change global crurrency from US$ to some other. on 3rd side china is becomeing stronger with 2000 billion dollars reserves 🙂

    Best of luck USA

  2. My objections on kerry-lugar

    (This aid is subject to a certificate which will be issued by the Secretary of State of United States and its first clause to be certified is that: )

    the Government of Pakistan is continuing to cooperate with the United States in efforts to dismantle supplier networks relating to the acquisition of nuclear weapons-related materials, such as providing relevant information from or direct access to Pakistani nationals associated with such networks;

    Question :
    Will Afghan/Indian/American governments will provide direct access to their nationals involved in terrorist attacks in Pakistan if Pakistan has solid proofs against them ????


    The report shall include an evaluation of efforts undertaken by the Government of Pakistan to prevent attacks into neighbouring countries

    Question :

    what neighbouring countries are doing to prevent attacks on Pakistan ??
    Everyone knows that Afghan and Indian governments are assisting terrorists in Balochistan. What about them… who will ask or monitor them ??

  3. @M Furqan Khan These are good questions but I think the KL bill has been changed and the conditionalities are cancelled. Still I think the Americans should look at what the Indian government involvement in Balochistan. It is now reported that India was behind conditionalities in KL bill also.

  4. During a meeting with the prime minister at the PM House, the ambassador assured him that the Kerry-Lugar bill would be passed by the US Congress in coming weeks and most of the financial assistance included in the bill would be channelled through government institutions and mechanisms, such as Benazir Income Support Programme, Higher Education Commission and basic health units.

  5. The writer has tried to reason with the seemingly unreasonable people of Pakistan and pleaded with them passionately to not look a gift horse in the mouth. However, like the proverbial road to hell, paved with good intentions, this write-up seems like a half baked attempt at putting lipstick on the ugliest pig of the farm. With due respect to Shakir Husain, it seems like he doesn’t even understand the difference between the concept and spirit of exchanging meat of sacrifice with his neighbor or a friend around Eid-Ul-Adha, and the cold reality of a business deal like the Kerry-Lugar bill. This bill is not some form of charity that is being handed out to Pakistan. It is payment for a service that Pakistan is expected to perform to further the interests of the US in the region. Kerry and/or Lugar, even though representing uncle Sam in this endeavor, are not the mamay (uncles) of the Pakistani people, and hence do not have the best interest of Pakistanis in their caring hearts. They have devised a deal which is a payment for the blood and tears, the people of Pakistan are spilling for America’s strategic interests. Nothing less and nothing more.

  6. Please, Pakistan, reject Kerry-Lugar. As a US national and a Pakistan resident, I’d LOVE to see you guys reject it, then submit to those conditions, and WORSE, when you go, hat in hand, to the IMF to get a LOAN, something you have to pay back, at extortionate interest rates. Or don’t, and go to the Chinese, who are known as kind and compassionate souls when it comes to money, and ask for a loan from them. The people of this country need to wake up and realize that their government and the 5% who own and operate the place, are screwing the rest of you and then pointing fingers at the US for forcing into public consciousness an issue the 5% created. It is an old trick, but surprisingly effective.

    So take your marbles and go home. And wait for the roof to fall in. And when it does, the exact same people who are shouting that it is “all America’s fault” are going to be begging for assistance, as predictable as the sunrise…

  7. @Abbas: Dear this is just to comfirm that there has been NO change in KL bill, I repeat there has been NO change in the KL bill as was confirmed by american congress, stating that this process alone will take nearly 18 months, therefore, only an ‘explanatory’ statement was given that american intentions are good.

  8. I was surprised to see the title of this blog:)

    Pakistan has been very unfortunate to have corrupt and un-loyal people in charge of the country right from the beginning. These people have not only looted the country’s wealth but also acted on behalf of foreign powers to promote their interests in the region. This has been happening for more than 60 years now and things are becoming worse by day.

    If the US thinks they can win in Afghanistan by appointing their servants as rulers of Pakistan, they are WRONG. They are going to get defeated no matter how many bills they come up with as nobody has ever been able to overcome the Afghans and US is no exception.

  9. KL bill in in great favour on Pakistan. As it will bring development in social sector and will pave the way to democracy. Opposition could have done the same if it was in power this time. The opponents of the bill are self centered entirely not thinking what is best for this copuntry common man. Unfortunately media is also involve in the blame game initiated by soem powers and not telecasting true things and just earning to run thier channels. Kindly learn soemthing from the neighbouring countries. regards

  10. I failed to understand the opposition to this bill from the day one, What is wrong, the bill is good, this aid is better then what in past been done, the efforts are healthy, there are ignorant elements in society which are making fuss.

    Lets make best use of the Aid, and appreciate USA in assisting us to achieve social, political and economical goals.

  11. I failed to understand the opposition to this bill from the day one, What is wrong, the bill is good, this aid is better then what in past been done, the efforts are healthy, there are ignorant elements in society which are making fuss.

    Lets make best use of the Aid, and appreciate USA in assisting us to achieve social, political and economical goals.

  12. @Thinker I’m confused man you said that “US thinks they can win in Afghanistan by appointing their servants as rulers of Pakistan” but Pakistan government was ELECTED BY PAKISTANIS. This is first democratic government in how long? Maybe Musharraf was US servant the way he always grovel to Bush but how you can say this government is appointed by anyone but Pakistani people?

  13. Dear Pakistanis, Who has asked you to take this money? Are the Americans begging us to take the money or is it the other way round? If we all feel so strongly about the conditions as a nation let us stand up and deliver. But alas we are not a self respecting nation. So gentlemen why not just for once we all shut up.

  14. Irrespective of the discussion on KL-bill,i just want to ask the people and most importantly our rulers that how long our country’s economy will remain dependent on foreign suppport?.Why our President,PM and ministers of his ever increasing cabinet don’t reduce the number of their foreign visits in order to save millions of rupees of loss to national exchequer?When will we stop blaming others for our own misdeeds?.when the inhabitants of this great country don’t ever bother to switch off an extra light bulb?

  15. I DO NOT agree with the title, at the first place. I’m wondering how can one wish to get aid at the cost of National Sovereignty. whether I may be thought of as being ignorant or whatever but I can not ignore ground-realities. THE KL BILL IS AGAINST PAKISTAN. The stuff above is just a justification.

  16. i don’t know why each thing coming from USA is seen witn doubtful eyes, if that bill would have come from China or any other one of friends of Pakistan,that definately would have been received with open arms, if we are realizing our self respect now than where is our self respect at that time when IMF assists Pakistan in many development programmes and in return we have to accept some conditions.where was our self respect at that time when we arranged forum of Friends of Pakistan where we requested developed countries to help us out and now when they have come forward with that assistance, we are rasing the nominal voice of self respect and ego. kindly do understand the need of the hour, at this time we earnestly need that amount to overcome the existing problems of country,if any one has any greviences with govrnment kindly don’t express your contempt in shape of opposing this bill because this bill will benefit Pakistan not the government of any ruling party.

  17. For a person like me who hails from an older generation it is a matter of personal experience and observation that Military has been called on number of times to perform civil duties at time of crises. Quite recently, when our forces are engaged heavily against terrorist mind set in their stronghold we look towards them to safeguard us too in cities, while it is primarily duty oif civil government.

    Where are Civil Defence organizations and other security agencies?

    So it is extremely difficult under present circumstances not to involve Army in protecting lives and properties of civil population against well trained and well equipped militants.

    KLB which intends to help the government to eliminate terrorism, in fact supports militancy by barring government not to bear the expenditure on Army deployed to perform civil duties against terrorism is extremely unfair. Scanty budgetary resources available with Army are extremely insufficient to go beyond their normal duties.

  18. Its totally against Pakistanis’ interest to get any help from any country at the price of their integrity.
    If somebody wants to help Pakistan, it must not have strings attached like getting some power in return that’ll allow them to choose top level officiers/seats of their choice etc.

    NO to any foregin interference in Pakistan.

    – A Patriotic Pakistani

  19. Well, what i think about Kerry-Lugar bill is that no doubt it contains some flaws but it also contains some good points too like, President would have more power than Pakistan’s chief of army staff. The basic problem of Pakistan around a decade has been their Powerful Chief of Army Staff or the dictators who have ruined Pakistan internally by real means.

  20. Kerry Lugar Bill is a biggest game against pakistan. As a Muslim and a pakistani we are honourable and respectable nation we must ride away this bill because its against our dignity

  21. Kerry Lugar Bill is not in favor of Pakistan at all. Someone, who defended this government as “ELECTED BY PAKISTANIS” should think again and mention any single development done by the government in favour of our own country? all they are doing is to prolong their ruling period and to defend US policies. Why don’t our government use our own resouces/assets to earn money instead of begging the world? We have Trillion Dollars worth ‘Coil’ in Thar, we have rich amount on Oil. When will we use these resources? what is the duty of our government?

  22. I think our politicians are just fighting for their own interests they don’t care that where their country is going.We are badly in need of a patriot leader.

  23. Question is what is the ratio of this amount to our annual badget, merely 2 to 3 % of national gross income & expenditures. how about the responsibilities are carried with this deal , what are the national risks,today we may be friend but what about tomorrow, who will gyarantee for our national integrity. no ,sir I don’t recomment it

  24. Excuse me for being so blunt, but when the hell has Pakistan on their own accord come together on issues of health-care, education, and the economy at large. Pakistani leaders have fought so hard to earn the respect of the U.S. and to gain recognition internationally so that the country would be given financial assistance. Now that Pakistan is being given this opportunity, it should not be ashamed. Rather, Pakistani’s should welcome this as a humble “donation” towards the nations future. Yes, Pakistan will have to succumb to its Pride and Ego. Put aside your “Izhat” for now and accept this as a Grant, so to say. This is definitely the time over the next five years that this country can focus on investing in itself to jump start the youth to battle corruption, terrorism, malnutrition, disease, and illiteracy. As a Pakistani-American, it is my duty to give back to my community and give back to my people. Please see this as an opportunity to get on to your feet. It is possible that Pakistan will become a self-sufficient country within the next ten years. But, it will be in the hands of the Pakistani’s what they actually use the Billions in aid for. Inshallah, Allah knows what’s best and May he protect this country from the harmful actions of a few.

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