Tag Archives: KLB

Whatever happened to Kerry-Lugar?

Raza Rumi

Pakistan’s dire fiscal situation has resulted in the reduction of development spending by 40 per cent. This does not bode well for the citizens who have been tormented by an energy crisis, persistent food inflation and rampant unemployment. In these circumstances, the development assistance under the Kerry-Lugar Bill (KLB) is much needed. Pakistan’s civilian government braved a media onslaught and the ire of the security establishment for tacitly supporting the US legislation. Other than the rhetoric around the ‘conditions’ drafted in Washington, there was an unstated agreement that the development assistance was welcome.

Months have elapsed and Pakistanis have yet to witness the roll out of the KLB. Global recession and political uncertainty at home underlie the tough days for Pakistanis especially the poor. It was expected that given the urgency of the situation, USAID was going to kickstart the delivery of its interventions. Well, the progress so far has been disappointing.

First, there seems to be no public sign of a consensus within the US bureaucratic machine how the aid under KLB will be delivered. Unconfirmed media reports suggest that the political versus the bureaucratic channels are not on the same page. The ‘political’ administration is ostensibly managing USAID systems and processes. There may be strategic reasons for that but the net result is that things are delayed. Not long ago, Pakistani government’s procedures were thought to be a problem but the trajectory of US bureaucracy only proves that public sector ailments are common. Continue reading

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Filed under Kerry Lugar Bill, Pakistan, Terrorism, USA, War On Terror

Going the Wrong Way about Doing the Right Thing

By B. Civilian

The full bench of the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan unanimously declared the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) null and void, ab initio. In view of the unpopularity of the Ordinance, the PPP government had virtually disowned it over the last few weeks. The Federation decided not to defend it in the court, again, regardless of one of its lawyers insinuating that there was a threat to ‘rule of law’ from “CIA and the GHQ” (statements which the lawyer later withdrew as his own rather than his client’s view).

Pakistan is in the process of transitioning from being a military dictatorship to becoming a democracy. It’s a difficult transition for any country, let alone for one which has attempted such a transition at least twice before, without much success. But today Pakistan is waging two definitive wars at the same time – one for democracy and the other against terrorism. The latter is often described as an existential war. We are trying to define ourselves at the same time as we are trying to ‘exist’; survive and prevail over those murdering us on a daily basis. Continue reading

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Filed under Benazir Bhutto, Democracy, Justice, Law, lawyers movement, Pakistan, Parliament, Politics, state, War On Terror, Zardari