Aid Package From U.S. Jolts Army in Pakistan

Published: October 7, 2009
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — In an unusual move, the Pakistani Army expressed public anger Wednesday at the terms of a large American aid package, saying it interfered with Pakistan’s national security, a posture that set the military at loggerheads with the American-backed civilian government.

The criticism made in a statement after the monthly meeting of the nation’s top generals embarrassed the government of President Asif Ali Zardari and came as the Obama administration is seeking to persuade the Pakistani Army to broaden its campaign against theTaliban and Al Qaeda in Pakistan.

The chief of the Pakistani Army, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, was so offended by stipulations in the American legislation that he complained to the American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, when the two men met in Islamabad on Tuesday, according to a senior Pakistani military officer.

The legislation passed by Congress last week gives Pakistan $1.5 billion over the next year for the Zardari government to build roads, schools and other infrastructure, a gesture intended to shore up the weak civilian government and turn around the widespread antipathy toward the United States among Pakistanis.

Instead, the aid package has served to widen the distrust between the military and the civilian government, even though the new aid comes in addition to America’s aid to the Pakistani military, which had totaled more than $10 billion since 2001.

The section of the legislation that has outraged the army says the secretary of state must report to Congress every six months on whether the government is exercising “effective civilian control over the military.”

The secretary must assess the extent to which the civilian government has oversight over the military chain of command, promotion of generals and the military budgets, provisions that even Pakistani politicians have taken strong exception to as meddling in Pakistan’s business.

The legislation also says Pakistan must show progress in ending support for terrorist groups, and dismantle groups operating out of Quetta and Muridke.

The generals were specifically infuriated by mention of Quetta, which the Obama administration says is a base for Taliban who fight American forces in Afghanistan, and of Muridke, which is a well known base for Lashkar-e-Taiba, a militant group formed two decades ago by the Pakistani government to fight India.

The United States and India say Lashkar was behind the attacks in India’s financial capital, Mumbai, last November.

“This is a direct indictment,” a senior military official said in reference to Muridke. The Americans, he said, were threatening the Pakistanis, saying that if the Pakistani military did not behave according to American wishes, then the Americans would penalize them. “Some may say this is typical American arrogance,” said the official who spoke candidly on condition of anonymity.

Anger over what is being interpreted as impudent American demands has been building, fanned by other recent frictions — plans for a bigger American Embassy, the use of an American private security firm to protect American diplomats — in what was supposed to be a new era between the United States and Pakistan under President Obama.

The fury reached a high on Wednesday, even exceeding longtime complaints about American drone attacks against militants in the tribal areas as being an infringement of sovereignty.

In its statement after the generals’ monthly meeting, the army said: “The forum expressed serious concern regarding clauses impacting on national security.” A “formal input” by the military would be sent to Parliament, the army said.

Mr. Zardari held a lengthy meeting with members of his party on Tuesday, many of whom were having difficulty explaining the aid legislation under a barrage of criticism in the press and among the opposition parties.

Afterward, the presidential spokesman called the attacks on the legislation “propaganda” aimed at “undermining” the president’s position.

Part of the military’s anger focused, the senior military official said, on the affront of not being informed by the civilian government about the stipulations that affected the army.

“The security establishment of the country has not been kept in the loop,” he said.

The front-page headline on Wednesday for an article about the meeting between General Kayani and General McChrystal in The News read: “Insult! Army tells U.S. military.”

In a conciliatory address to Parliament on Wednesday evening, the prime minister,Yousaf Raza Gilani, argued the legislation was not binding. He assured Parliament that the government would “never” allow a foreign power to have access to Pakistan’s nuclear assets.

His reference to nuclear capability was apparently to allay anger over a reference in the legislation asking Pakistan to continue to cooperate with the United States in efforts to dismantle networks trying to acquire nuclear weapons-related materials.


US does not intend to encroach on Pakistan’s sovereignty: Qureshi
By Our Correspondent
Thursday, 08 Oct, 2009 (Dawn)
WASHINGTON, Oct 7: “Those who have questions or doubts should read the legislation, which is very clear in its intent,” says US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton while responding to the criticism that the Kerry-Lugar bill encroaches upon Pakistan’s sovereignty.

She made these remarks on Tuesday afternoon at a joint news conference with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi who defended the bill saying that the Americans had “no intentions of trampling on Pakistan’s sovereignty; … nor will the elected democratic government of Pakistan ever allow any compromise on Pakistan’s sovereignty”.

As the minister emerged out of a meeting with Secretary Clinton he told waiting journalists that he was convinced the Americans had “no intentions of micromanaging Pakistan and nor will Pakistan permit micromanagement”.

From the State Department, Mr Qureshi rushed to Capitol Hill where Senators John Kerry and Richard Lugar joined him in urging the Pakistanis not to fear a bill that only aims to help them live better.

“There is no conditionality, whatsoever, in this legislation with respect to the civilian assistance and the economic assistance that is provided …I want to emphasise there are no conditions on Pakistan attached to the $ 7.5 billion in non-military aid,” Senator Kerry told the joint briefing.

Senator Lugar described the bill as “a significant step forward” towards forging a greater relationship between the Pakistani and American nations.

The foreign minister then dashed to the House to seek another assurance from Congressman Howard Berman, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Mr Berman obliged him, saying that the Kerry Lugar Bill had made a new beginning in the relationship with Pakistan. “We made some mistakes in the past but we will not repeat them again,” he declared.

The assurances — sought and given — followed media reports that the opposition to the bill in Pakistan was spreading and now even the military had aired a rare public criticism of the proposed legislation.

Senator Kerry responded to some of the concerns raised in Pakistan. In a statement at the joint briefing with Foreign Minister Qureshi, Senator Kerry acknowledged that there were some conditions on the military aid. But “conditions on military aid do not require anything of Pakistan that is not already in the stated policy of the government and opposition parties (of Pakistan) that is already agreed upon”.

Addressing more specific concerns expressed in Pakistan, the senator said: “There is absolutely nothing in this bill related to private security firms or drone attacks or host of other issues that have been tangled together…. (there is) nothing in this bill that impinges on Pakistani sovereignty.”

And it was not just the US administration and Congress that responded to the reaction in Pakistan. The media did too.

The New York Times noted that President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan “has agreed to the stipulations in the Kerry-Lugar bill” and was “coming under sharp criticism from opposition parties and many Pakistanis who view America as a cavalier and condescending ally”.

The CBS News quoted a western expert as saying that “the Pakistani military is not at all anywhere near seeking to break ranks with the US. What they seem to be doing is simply taking a stand (on the bill). Now, the next step will come from Washington where President Obama may not want to see a break in relations with Pakistan”.

The US media also reported that the military is particularly concerned about a provision which required the US administration to send to Congress “an assessment of the extent to which the government of Pakistan exercises effective civilian control of the military”.

The assessment should include “a description of the extent to which civilian executive leaders and parliament exercise oversight and approval of military budgets, the chain of command, the process of promotion for senior military leaders, civilian involvement in strategic guidance and planning, and military involvement in civil administration”.

The media noted that the military saw this as an attempt to control the promotions and transfers process in the military with the help of the Zardari government.

An email from a senior official of the US Congress underlined a growing reaction in the United States to Pakistan’s response.

“Feel free to let the Pakistan military know that the current Senate foreign operations appropriations bill contains, thanks to the obstructionist attitude of the Pakistani military, exactly zero dollar in foreign military funding for Pakistan,” the official wrote.

“If Gen Kayani wants to deprive Pakistani children of schools, roads and clinics, he better be prepared to forgo P-3s and F-16s too. The people he is counting on to provide them are precisely the people he is doing his best to alienate.”

What is wrong with the Kerry-Lugar Bill? Why is the Mullah-Military Alliance in Pakistan so upset? An analysis by BBC Urdu dot com

کیری لوگر بل کی متنازعہ شرائط


پاکستانی فوج کیری لوگر بل پر معترض ہے

آج کل پاکستان میں ہر طرف کیری لوگر بل کا چرچا ہے اور جہاں اپوزیشن جماعتوں کی جانب سے اس بل پر تنقید کی گئی ہے وہیں پاکستانی فوج نے بھی اس پر شدید تحفظات کا اظہار کیا ہے۔

سوال یہ ہے کہ اس بل میں ایسا کیا ہے کہ جس نے پاکستان کے سیاسی منظر میں ہلچل مچا دی ہے۔ یہاں پر امریکی سینیٹروں جان کیری اور رچرڈ لوگر کے پیش کردہ بل کی وہ شرائط پیش کی جا رہی ہیں جنہیں حزبِ اختلاف کے رہنما ملک کی سلامتی کا سودا قرار دے رہے ہیں۔

اس بل میں پاکستان کو دی جانے والی ترقیاتی امداد پر تو کوئی شرط عائد نہیں کی گئی ہے تاہم فوجی امداد کے حوالے سے کہا گیا ہے کہ یہ امداد اسی صورت میں دی جائے گی جب امریکی وزیرِ خارجہ کانگریس کی متعلقہ کمیٹیوں کو مندرجہ ذیل امور کے بارے میں سرٹیفیکیٹ دے گا۔

٭ یہ کہ پاکستان جوہری ہتھیاروں سے متعلقہ سامان فراہم کرنے والے نیٹ ورکس کو ختم کرنے میں تعاون کر رہا ہے اور متعلقہ معلومات یا پھر ایسے نیٹ ورکس سے جڑے پاکستانی شہریوں تک براہِ راست رسائی دے رہا ہے۔

٭ یہ کہ پاکستانی حکومت شدت پسند گروہوں سے نمٹنے کے لیے مستقل کوشش کر رہی ہے اور اس نے اپنی خفیہ ایجنسی اور فوج میں ایسے عناصر خصوصاً افغانستان میں امریکی اور اتحادی افواج اور ہمسایہ ممالک یا ان کے شہریوں پر حملے کرنے والے عناصر کی حمایت پر قابو پانے میں کامیابی حاصل کی ہے۔

٭ یہ کہ پاکستان القاعدہ اور گزشتہ برس نومبر میں ممبئی حملوں کی ملزم لشکرِ طیبہ سمیت دیگر شدت پسند گروہوں کو پاکستان میں کام کرنے اور ہمسایہ ممالک پر حملہ کرنے سے روک رہا ہے۔

٭ یہ کہ پاکستان اپنے شمال مغربی علاقے، کوئٹہ اور پنجاب میں مریدکے جہاں لشکرِ طیبہ کے حامیوں کا کمپلیکس ہے، میں دہشتگردوں کے مراکز کو تباہ کر رہا ہے۔

٭ یہ کہ پاکستانی فوج سیاسی اور عدالتی عمل پر اثرانداز ہونے کی کوشش نہیں کر رہی۔

ان شرائط کے علاوہ بل میں امریکی وزیرِ خارجہ سے یہ بھی کہا گیا ہے کہ وہ اس بات کا جائزہ بھی پیش کرے کہ کس حد تک پاکستان کی حکومت کا فوج پر سویلین کنٹرول ہے۔ اس جائزے میں یہ بھی بتایا جائے کہ فوجی بجٹ کی منظوری، چین آف کمانڈ اور اعلٰی فوجی افسران کی ترقیوں میں سیاسی رہنماؤں اور پارلیمان کا عمل دخل کس حد تک ہے

What do ordinary Pakistanis think about the Kerry-Lugar Bill and the negative response by Pakistan Army:

Some relevant comments:

Source: pkpolitics

Kashif said:

I applaud President Zardari for standing by KL-bill. Strings attached with it is to check GHQ’s role. I am disappointed by PMLN’s opposition to bill. They project themselves as anti-establishment party. Mian Sb. makes repeated statements about CoD where he and BB agreed to strengthen political forces against GHQ. Thats what precisely KL-bill is attempting. Apparently PMLN’s opposition to GHQ is just for political point scoring. IN reality they are one of the forces protecting status quo.

PMLN is going back to its roots – GHQ. GHQ is pushing them to express their concerns on KL – bill. Change in PMLN’s policy after Mian Shahbaz Sharif’s meeting with Gen Kiyani.

SS’s meeting with Gen. Kiyani was in clear violation of CoD that PMLN was beating drum abt for past 2 years. The bubble of PMLN being anti-establishment party did not last long.

BB fought against Army in 80’s but came in power in ‘88 on terms of GHQ. NS followed BB’s footsteps. Shame on both …. our populist leaders being dictated by GHQ.

Mullahs and JI have always been voice of GHQ in political areana. My complaints are from PMLN. They claimed they are the anti-establishment force and are now vocing GHQ’s cocerns on KL bill. I hope you know 1.5 B $$$ development aid is unconditional and conditions are tied with only military aid F-16s etc. Amount of military aid is not specified in bill. And the conditions tied to military aid are:

1. No nuclear proliferation and share information on proliferation suppliers network
2. Will not work sponsor militants, no afghan jihad, no kashmir jihad etc
3. Army should be governed by civilians

My complaints are from main stream political parties PMLN and PPP who are voicing GHQ’s concerns … Shame on them.

pejamistri said:


When did mian sb. met kiyani? And you are right it was the clear violation of CoD , it will however be interesting to find out what Kiyani and NS would have discussed. I am not sure NS has anything more to offer Kiyani other than a moral/verbal support. Mian sb. is not going to trust Kiyani or any other General anymore after 12th of October 1999. By the way it is going to be 10 years since Mian Sb. have not seen PM house therefore he might be thinking his moral right now to be in the PM house.

On the Army’s concerns about the KL bill, I must say that for the first time there is a genuine commons sense bill by the American nuts (I call American legislatures as “nuts”) , otherwise we have seen bills as silly as Pressler and Brown. Military mafia is genuinely concerned about the civilians controlling the flow of cash to them. Only problem is that it is not going to affect them in anyway except it hurts their ego. I am sure AZ or NS don’t have enough muscle power to meaningfully control the cash flow to the army.

Reading the bill it seems that Americans are not yet interested in stopping the money to army in the near future (perhaps as long as they are in Afghanistan) , therefore army is probably not worried on this count.

Kashif said:


Mian Shahbaz Sharif and Ch. Nisar met Gen. Kiyani Sunday night. Initially meeting was denied by Ahsan Iqbal but today Raja Zafar ul Haq confirmed it on some talk show.

I wonder what right PPPP and PMLN has to blame PMLQ …. they themselves are dying to get GHQ’s nod ….

Kashif said:

Kerry told reporters in Washington on Tuesday that there were no conditions attached to development aid and the bill’s conditions on military aid “do not require anything of Pakistan that is not already in the stated policy of the government and opposition parties.”

What is the fuss then?

ninetykman said:

@ Kashif

Read the bill first then….

Kashif said:


I thoroughly read the bill and was the first one to post congress approved draft on this site. I hope you know civilian aid is unconditional and strings are only attached to military aid. And I agree with all the conditions attached to military aid. No nuclear proliferation, no to jihadi organization and GHQ should work under civilan regime.

I am sure you just advised me to read the bill you haven’t read yourself.

hasankhan said:

if pakistan rejects this kerry lugar bill,pakistan will be the most foolish nation on earth.

Kashif said:

Hamid Mir can not do a focussed program. He tried to cover KL bill, Musharaaf’s trail and Balouchistan deprivation … all mega issues in one program the result is usual chutur chutur chutur…..

Hasil Bajenjo is absolutely right – nothing is wrong with KL bill. Conditions are tied to military aid, civilian aid (not loan) is unconditional.

There are some stupid people who give arguments that our textile exports are X B $$$s, our overseas Pakistanis send Y B $$$ we do not need this aid. That X and Y B $$$ are going to individual’s pockets its not the public fund that can build schools, roads, etc. We have 10+ hrs of load shading, last month 21 people were crushed to get ataa, we have some major crisis every quarter sugar, fertilizers, ata … and we are saying we don’t need 1500 M $$$ every year just bcaz you are asking our GHQ to work under civilian regime … give me a break …

Anwer Kamal said:

Bazenjo was quite true and realistic but Hamid Meer, Kamran Khan , Dr Shahid and many other looks like Faraoons now. They are very proud, looks working for their own agendas quoting their own views more than anylising any topic and many knew now their mission. They forgot Nawaz Shareef now and working for some other perhaps.

hasankhan said:

if pakistan rejects this kl bill,india will not only laugh on us but also will cele berate on the stupidity of this nation.

justice said:

can some one tell me how the kerry logar bill is against pakistans interest.
i really donot understand

Media is paksitan is doing the same thing as the conservative radio talk show hosts are doing to health care bill in US.

drum Beating since they dont have a better thing to do.

madeel said:

The key point is:

“Pak Army is at least as critical reality of the Pakistani politics as the US.”

The present government has ignored this precisely. Many credible analyst including Talat Hussein has claimed that government intentionally asked to include the clauses which would put military under pressure.

Yes. Military should be under civilian control. But given the present performance of the government, it is not possible in the near future. Had this government performed well enough, we would had moved significantly forward towards democracy.

I would not be surprised if the present military take over, if happen, would enjoy enormous support from the poor. Never forget that, politics is local everywhere and revolve around basic needs.

Bawa said:

@ madeel

Military should be under civilian control. But given the present performance of the government, it is not possible in the near future. Had this government performed well enough, we would had moved significantly forward towards democracy.

Military should be under civilian control without any “but” and “if”. If the performance of government is not good or unsatisfactory, there is legal procedure to remove the government. This is the responsibility of parliament, opposition parties and awaam to keep the government on track. Military has no right to interfere in government affairs. Military must obey the orders of civilian government even if it is the worst government. Opposition leared must not have a secret meeting with army chief in the dark night. Let the democracy grow in the country and with the passage of time all corrupt politicians will be out of politics. Awaam is the best judge. Let the people decide who should rule over the country.

madeel said:


Here you are making an academic argument. I have no disagreement with that on principal. But common man has no appeal in such arguments. The consensus against military rule developed two years ago is gradually decreasing.

As you said that Awam is the best judge, if military take over happen at present, it will have immense support for the Awam. If you have any doubt, spend little time on streets and you will know that. But for this you will have to leave out from your academic world for a while.

Ali Q said:

madeel, you’re mistaken.

Bawa said:

@ madeel

Why are we looking towards military to take over the country? What did the 32/62 year direct military rule give us? Who is responsible of present crises? Was the military rule an excellent rule in the country in past? Why is not public protesting against corruption of present government?

Do you think military will solve all our problems? If no, then why again military government? If there is military government in Pakistan, what message goes to the whole world?

naughtypakistani said:

No one cried about sovereignity when military dictators give land to fly U-2 for Soviet spying, prefered to break the country instead of calling a civilian (Sheikh Mujib) their boss, suggested out of box solutions for Kashmir or laid down on one telephone call. Now this is civilain govt. and lead by a non Punjabi then every one has ache in stomach about sovereignity .

hasankhan said:

this nation is getting extremist.we started to think exactly the somali and afghani think.we dont use our own mind we just follow anchors and politicians.we are being mislead,america is our enemy,america wants to humiliate us,all wrong.america wants to help us,wants to bring military under civil control,wants to solve our problems.

Bolta Pakistan – 7 October 2009

KevinDude said:

Nusrat Javed was lethal 2day . his satires were great 2nite plus the way he mocked ayla malik of situation room was hilarious. hahhahahaha

Kashif said:

NJ was at his best. He is absolutely right core commanders had no right to express their reservations on KL bill. Shame on PMLN for standing with GHQ on this, for secretly meeting Gen. Kiyani. PMLN has exposed its past … GHQ’s puppit.

Martial laws can not be stopped by Musharaaf’s trial. They will be stopped if masses stand up to GHQ. Civilan aid is unconditional, military aid has conditions that our GHQ needs to follow but these shameless politicians are toingGHQ’s line in parliment.

I still remember Kh. Asif’s speach in Parliment against generals, Ch’ Nisar’s longs interviews against GHQ’s role …. but when it matters most they secretly meet generals, they give voice to GHQ’s concerns on public forums.

No one should blame Sheikh Rashid and Ch. Shujhat for being GHQ’s puppies … Apparently everyone is dying to be adopted by GHQ. They have learned their lessons. You demand Musharaaf’s trial for political point scoring and personal grudges … when Americans tie GHQ’s cash flow with civilian supermacy you stand by GHQ. They all are shameless coawrds and Mir Jafars. Why Americans are trying our parliment’s supermacy when our parlimentarians are defending GHQ’s supermacy over parliment.

zam1112 said:

NUSRAT JAVED SHAME ON YOU also mm, zardari ka passay halal kar raha hai, shut up nusrat you are not mama of media, we can not trust zardari, weldone army keep kicking the ass of these corroupt politicians.

Kashif said:


You are a typical shameless crooked jamatiya who again trying to lick GHQ’s boots … same boots that kicked your a$$ for past few months in Swat …. and hopefully very soon in Waziristan. You invite and support GHQ when they walk into Islamabad and oppose them when they fight religious extremists ….

adeel said:

Whatever Kashif may have to say I can assure him that this time army take over would have immense support from the poor. People like us who have access to higher education or can sustain in the present inflation can take a principle stand: Army should never came in; let the present system continue it will cure its ills itself.

I agree with that principle stand. But in the streets, people think in terms of their basic needs. It is not just Pakistan, but it is true for the well-developed countries like US, France, England. At the very level, politics is always local and revolve around basic needs.

PPP supporters arguing that we can not mess with the US due to ground reality. By the same line of reasoning, they can not mess with the Army either. Rather than praising the bill selectively, then went on to praise it whole heartedly. The thought is that it is nice to keep military generals under the US pressure. But this simply unrealistic.

Practically speaking, this givernment can not last until 2011. If Zardari has some ability to foresee, he would go for new elections rather than let the army taking it over.

Adonis said:

……………” this time army take over would have immense support from the poor”………..

Army takeover, or for that matter any change in government, always has immense support from the people. That is what is one of the main reason people of Pakistan keep on suffering. We have very short memories and we have no patience. Whoever comes into government, we want him to improve our personal circumstances overnight. When that does not happen, we start looking for a messiah. This cycle is repeated with each government.

Its about time that we learn to let teh system work. Let democracy flourish and change to come through democratic way.

Zardari is a liar and a dishonest person. He has proved this himself on national media. But the only way to get rid of him is to vote against his party in the next elections. If we let generals take charge of the situation, then people like zardari will play victims and will get people’s sympathies again.

Army is a subordinate institution which has no place in running of the country. It has already done too much damage to Pakistan because of its repeated coups.

Basharat said:

Kashif fully agree with you. Since 1947 most of the aid is taken by military governments and our “respected” generals. Democratic government from 1988 till 1999 were under heavy economic sanctions. This time US wants to give aid directly to democratic government and these generals can’t swallow it…… probably our king Gen. Kiyani wants a share of it…..

Where was the “Gheirat” of these core commanders when Musharaf was sacking whole judiciary and civil society and lawyers were beaten like a hell on streets. Why were they not doing meetings when supreme court judges were house arrested for almost 6 months…….