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December 5, 2011
US assistance
Sir: This is with reference to Awais Hasan’s letter, ‘Without US assistance’ (Daily Times, November 30, 2011). Over the last 10 years, the US has given $ 2 billion a year in aid to Pakistan and that translates to around $ 12 annually for every Pakistani. On the other hand, the American aid to Israel, which has a population of eight million, is $ 3 billion a year and amounts to $ 375 a year for every Israeli. Each citizen of Israel, therefore, gets more than 30 times the aid given to each citizen of Pakistan.

But this is not all! It is no secret that most of the aid given by the US to Pakistan is of no benefit for the common man. The aid, which is conditional upon using American consultants and equipment, together with other demands amounts to about 70 percent of the total aid amount. From the rest, a good chunk is siphoned away to private bank accounts leaving about 10 percent for the common man. So it is the US that benefits the most from the aid that it gives. Should we continue taking aid from the US, since it is not really aid considering that it has to be repaid with interest? The only losers — in case we stop taking American aid — will be the American consultants and industries.

In fact, the best thing to happen to us would be if the US stopped giving us aid. If it really wants to help us and considering what we have sacrificed to fight the war on terror, it should write off all the so-called aid that it has given us.

SHAKIR LAKHANI
Karachi

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