U.S. Commits Military Aid to Pakistan, Afghanistan
President Obama's announcement today in the White House that the United States government will continue to support the sovereign governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan to combat extremist groups in these two countries. However, it is surprising to note that the Pakistani government failed to consult with the U.S. government when it allowed the Talibans to control Swat Valley, one of its areas that is only 60 miles away from the capital city of Islamabad.
Now, it is asking the U.S. government to help Pakistan because it seemed the Talibans have gone haywire in that part of Pakistan by abusing their authority against the civilian population in the area. Reports said the fundamentalist Muslim group has been imposing what they did when Afghanistan was still under its control, after they drove away the Russians with the backing from the western governments. Based on reports, the U.S government has been helping Pakistan in terms of military assistance for a long time now. But nothing definite has been achieved in so far as containing extremism within its territory. Worse is that the fundamentalists who have sought safe haven inside Pakistan have the temerity to cross the unsecured border and sow chaos and terror inside Afghanistan itself. After this, they go back to where they came from to escape pursuit operations by the coalition forces.
Some political and military observers have extra doubts as to whether Pakistan is really serious in cracking down the Talibans and other extremist elements inside its territory. Had the Pakistani government made headway in its fight against the insurgents, these bad elements should have been eliminated, if not pushed out somewhere else. Yet, they have remained in Pakistan under the very noses of the Pakistani intelligence service for reasons unknown to many people. The Philippines has the same problem because until know, the present government of President Gloria Arroyo has failed to contain the series of kidnappings perpetrated by the al-qaeda inspired exremist Abu Sayyaf Group which continues to sow terror in that part of Mindanao.
At this time, the United States government must been wasting huge sums of money when it sends military and financial assistance to Pakistan. What bothers many oberservers is that how come the Pakistani government has allowed the Talibans to control a certain area of Pakistan? Isn't it crazy and impractical to do it that way, if only to get some concessions from a group of people whose sinister motives are for their own selfish interests only. As the saying goes: "Give them your hand, and they will ask for your limb."
At this time, when American has a lot of problems in its own backyards, military concerns for Pakistan should be taken on a case-by-case basis. The question that now bogs the minds of most people is how can the United States ensure that the assistance that is flowing to Pakistan will be used to where it is intended to? Perhaps, it is another way of the Pakistani government's ploy to attract media publicity by deliberately allowing the Talibans to sow terror in Swat Valley to justify its action for a sinister purpose.
Tags: Military Assistance
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