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'Corrupt Pakistan black hole for American aid'

'Corrupt Pakistan black hole for American aid'

Author: Chidanand Rajghatta
Publication: The Times of India
Date: August 7, 2009

Pakistan has been a "black hole" for US aid with a corrupt Pakistani military squandering 90% of American taxpayer funds it received on conventional armaments that had no relevance to the war on terror, a new study has revealed.

A paper by Harvard University's Kennedy School research fellow Azeem Ibrahim, titled 'US aid to Pakistan-US taxpayers have funded Pakistani corruption', says the unfettered flow of American aid has stalled democratization "by giving the military a disincentive to submit to civilian control, increasing its independence from government, and ignoring evidence of profiteering from military budgets".

The paper points to specific examples of the Pakistan military wasting using US funds, running into billions, on conventional weaponry instead of on fighting terror. Examples include F16s, aircraft-mounted armaments, anti-ship and antimissile defence systems, and an air defence radar system costing $200 million, "despite the fact that the terrorists...have no air attack capability."

"It seems that Pakistan's military and security services have for many years been a black hole for US funds. They have enriched individuals at the expense of the proper functioning of Pakistani institutions and the country's ability to fight extremists and provided already kleptocratic institutions with further incentives for corruption," the study says.

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