More aid for Pakistan

The World Bank has today announced an increase in its assistance to Pakistan.  That would be the country led by a military dictator, General Musharraf, who took office in a coup in 1999 and was recently criticised by the Commonwealth for reneging on his promise to to relinquish the post of Chief of Army Staff as part of the process of restoring democracy in Pakistan.

You may remember that Condeleeza Rice said in June:

For 60 years, my country, the United States, pursued stability at the expense of democracy in this region here in the Middle East — and we achieved neither. Now, we are taking a different course.

Not much sign of change. Strategic alliances and stability before democracy. As ever. 

1 thought on “More aid for Pakistan”

  1. So do you oppose aid to all countries which have military governments, or only to those where that aid can be used for a partisan slap at the US govt?

    Owen replies: I can’t think of any military governments to which I would increase aid; and in most cases I think we should reduce aid. (Depending on what you call a “military government”, I guess one candidate might be Rwanda. I am not saying that there are no circumstances in which we should give aid to a military government.)

    The accusation of a partisan slap is unfair. I welcomed Ms Rice’s speech at the time, calling it “commendable”. If the US Government announces a change of policy with considerable fanfare, it is surely not unreasonable to observe that nothing much seems to have changed?

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