In the Arena

Our Pakistani Allies

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Let me get this straight: the U.S. Congress has voted to send an historic $7.5 billion in economic and humanitarian aid, over five years, to Pakistan–and the Pakistani is complaining? Yes, yes, I know there are sensitivities, but the strings attached don’t seem all that onerous: that the civilian government remain in charge of the country and that the Pakistanis suspend their ties with the Taliban who are killing our soldiers in Afghanistan.

The latter stipulation seems particularly appropriate given the suicide bombing at the Indian embassy in Kabul today–the last time this happened, in 2008, there were clear indications of Pakistani involvement (and there is a ripe–no: overripe–mythology in Islamabad about the size and activities of the Indian presence in Kabul). The Pakistani protection of Mullah Omar’s Quetta shura simply has to end–or the Pakistani Army has to understand that Predator drones will, finally, find their way to specific targets in Quetta.

In any case, given the utter failure of the Pakistani government (and Army) to provide a supple system of transportation, education and justice over the past 60 years, the Army would be a little bit more gracious about this offer of friendly, few-strings assistance from the United States.