Obama signs $1.5 billion a year Pakistan aid package

By Branko Brkic 16 October 2009

US President Barack Obama has signed the new aid package for Pakistan into US law, following growing tension over the proposed aid which Pakistanis complained represented foreign interference in its internal affairs. It also came just hours after a series of apparently coordinated attacks throughout northern Pakistan killed 40 people.   Explaining the purpose of this aid bill, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said,  "This law is the tangible manifestation of broad support for Pakistan in the US, as evidenced by its bipartisan, bicameral and unanimous passage in Congress."  Opponents in Pakistan originally balked at what they saw as conditions on how the money could be spent, including calls for action in curtailing the anti-Indian militant movements Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, and provisions that would cut-off security assistance if Pakistan failed to crack down on local extremists.  The brouhaha finally ended when Senator John Kerry and Representative Howard Berman, who head committees handling foreign relations in Congress, gave Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi a document that had been entered into "The Congressional Record" (equivalent to the local "Hansard") stating that the plan did not impose conditions or infringe on Pakistani sovereignty and said the aid was meant "to forge a closer collaborative relationship between Pakistan and the US, not to dictate the national policy or impinge on the sovereignty of Pakistan in any way." Did you expect it to be otherwise?

Gallery

Support DAILY MAVERICK & get FREE UBER vouchers every month

An increasingly rare commodity, quality independent journalism costs money, though not nearly as much as its absence can cost global community. No country can live and prosper without truth - that's why it matters.

Every Daily Maverick article and every Scorpio exposé is proof of our dedication to this unshakeable mission. Investing in our news media is by far the most effective investment into South Africa's future.

You can support Independent and Investigative journalism by joining Maverick Insider. If you contribute R150 or more per month you will receive R100 back in UBER vouchers. EVERY MONTH until October 2019.

So, if you'd like to help and do something meaningful for yourself and your country, then sign up to become a Maverick Insider. Together we can Defend Truth.


Moyane, Inc

Nugent Commission final report recommends criminal prosecution and far reaching changes to restore SARS

By Marianne Thamm

"I feel like we should stop calling feminists 'feminists' and just start calling people who aren't feminist 'sexist' – and then everyone else is just human." ~ Maisie Williams