US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in her recent visit to Pakistan assured an additional aid to support our government in different areas particularly in the energy, agriculture, trade, education and women’s empowerment sectors.
During her two-day visit, she met President Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani, Army Chief Gen. Kayani, federal ministers, representatives of civil society and media persons to convey the Obama administration’s message regarding peace and development in our terror-hit country.
The US Senate on September 24, 2009 had approved legislation, commonly known as the Kerry-Lugar Act, to triple non-military aid to Pakistan—about $1.5 billion a year for the next five years. This amount is now expected to be invested by the private sector development organizations especially NGOs to minimize chances of corruption—our trademark symbol in the world!
But there is no guarantee that the private sector would be able to achieve the given target of the American administrations. Every sector and organization is under the influence of the establishment and without it no-one can work in Pakistan. We’ve groups of swindlers who rule everywhere! They are interlinked in our country. That is why development is just a slogan here and thus majority of the population is poor and illiterate.
We're living in a very strange era of history! The powerful elite are abusing their power everywhere in a ruthless way without any shame and fear while the poor people are being terrorized. The media has become a battleground for different factions of the ruling class! After the media, secret agencies have taken control of different NGOs and even the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan—in such a way development of the social sector especially empowerment of women is just an American dream!
Our education system has given free space to criminals to use schools, colleges and even universities for their nefarious activities. The example of the Karakoram International University Gilgit is historic in nature (see The Terrorland blog archives), where the administration at the behest of a group of powerful journalists and secret agencies tried to kill my younger sister, Nasira Parveen. We've written to the president, prime minister, chief justice and army chief but there is no response so far. In such a situation, can the US government get its target of social development in Pakistan? It’s a question worth millions!
If the Obama administration wants to spend the American tax-payers' money unlike the former Bush administration—then there must be a direct monitoring system to watch every development project in Pakistan. This is the basic need no matter it is done through foreign officials, satellites or the Google earth! To educate and empower women, and bring an end to violence against the most depressed segment of our society, needs extra ordinary measures before handing over the sack of dollars to the government or NGOs in Pakistan. In this way, extremism and terrorism couldn’t be cashed ruthlessly at the American ATM!