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Billions in US aid never reached Pak Army

October 5, 2009

The United States has long suspected that much of the billions of dollars it has sent Pakistan to battle militants has been diverted to the domestic economy and other causes. Between 2002 and 2008, while al-Qaida regrouped, only $500 million of the $6.6 billion in American aid actually made it to the Pakistani military, two army generals tell the American news agency. At the time of the siphoning, Pervez Musharraf, a Washington ally, served as both chief of staff and president, making it easier to divert money intended for the military to bolster his sagging image at home through economic subsidies. “The army itself got very little,” said retired Gen. Mahmud Durrani, who was Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S. under Musharraf. “It went to things like subsidies, which is why everything looked hunky-dory. The military was financing the war on terror out of its own budget.

“Helicopters critical to the battle in rugged border regions were not available. At one point in 2007, more than 200 soldiers were trapped by insurgents in the tribal regions without a helicopter lift to rescue them. The limited night vision equipment given to the army was taken away every three months for inventory and returned three weeks later. Equipment was broken, and training was lacking. It was not until 2007 that money was given to the Frontier Corps, the front-line force, for training. The U.S. is also insisting on more accountability for reimbursing money spent. For example, Pakistan is still waiting for $1.7 billion for which it has billed the United States under a Coalition Support Fund to reimburse allies for money spent on the war on terror. “We don’t have a mechanism for tracking the money after we have given it to them,” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Mark Wright said in a telephone interview.

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One comment

  1. the statements of mahmud durrani lack credibility as he was perceived to be washingtons front man in pakistan before he was sacked by gillani



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