111 510 510 libonline@riphah.edu.pk Contact

Party’s over

On August 15, 1947, the day after Pakistan declared independence, the United States established diplomatic relations with us. In 1954, Pakistan entered into a Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement with the US.

In 1955, Pakistan joined the Baghdad Pact, Cento. In 1956, President Eisenhower sought permission from PM Suhrawardy to lease the Peshawar Air Station for the purpose of gathering intelligence on Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles. In 1961, President Ayub made his first visit to the US as head of state, receiving an elaborate state dinner at Mount Vernon and a ticker tape parade in New York City. In 1971, President Nixon and Henry Kissinger utilized Pakistan’s relationship with China to initiate secret talks, leading to Kissinger’s secret visit to China.

In 1989, Benazir Bhutto met President Bush. Between 1979 and 1989, the CIA ran ‘Operation Cyclone’ with a budget of multiple billions to defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan. After the September 11 attacks in 2001, Pakistan became a key ally of the US in the war on terror.

Between 1951 and 2011, the US provided approximately $67 billion in aid to Pakistan. In 2009, the Kerry-Lugar-Berman authorized $7.5 billion, a tripling of US economic assistance to Pakistan. Between 2002 and 2013, Pakistan received $28 billion in economic and military aid. Between 2014 and 2018, the ‘planned’ US assistance to Pakistan stood at $5 billion.

Over the past 75 years, a whole host of US-backed multilateral agencies have lent us $60 billion. We also owe the Paris Club an additional $10 billion. Bilateral loans now amount to $40 billion of which the Chinese have lent us a wholesome $30 billion. In December 2021, Saudi Arabia loaned $3 billion at the rate of 4.0 per cent. On January 12, the UAE rolled-over $2 billion and pledged an additional $1 billion.

Over the decades, we have received hefty ‘rents’ from ‘external sources’. On August 30, 2021 US Army Major-General Donahue was the last American soldier to depart Afghanistan. That is when the bash finished. That is when the merrymaking concluded. Yes, the shindig has come to an end. On January 22, 2023 the Saudi minister of finance said: “We used to give direct grants and deposits without strings attached and we are changing that. We are working with multilateral institutions; emphasis will now be placed on economic reforms in friendly countries.”

Our leaders must wake up. The festivities are through. We can no longer rely on support from outside. Our leaders must mend their ways. Stop losing Rs400 billion a year, every year in the electricity sector. Stop losing Rs200 billion a year, every year in the gas sector. Stop losing Rs150 billion a year, every year in PASSCO. Stop losing Rs67 billion a year, every year in PIA.

Our decision-makers must wake up. The soiree has concluded. Focus on indigenous potential. Our potential for solar power is 2.9 million MW. The government is generating 530 MW. Our potential for wind power is 346,000 MW. We are generating 1,248 MW. Our potential for wheat is 80 million tons. We are producing 27 million tons. Our potential for cotton is 23 million bales. We are producing 10 million bales. Our potential for rice is 13 million tons. We are producing 7 million tons. The party is over. The bash is done. The jamboree has come to a close. Let’s put our house in order.

Email: farrukh15@hotmail.com

Dr Farrukh Saleem, "Party’s over," The News. 2023-02-05.
Keywords: Political science , Political issues , Military aid , Ballistic Missiles , diplomatic , Economics , Henry Kissinger , President Eisenhower , United States , Baghdad , CIA