ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s ailing economy may receive yet another blow as US aid may dry up in the back drop of allegations of serious irregularities in the terror aid and non conformity of American agenda. Pakistan’s economic honeymoon that started with war on terror seems over as US is visibly irritated on the alleged misuse of funds provided to combat terrorism. Pakistan received more or less US$10 billion in aid and was pledged $600 million in economic and security assistance and $50 million in earthquake reconstruction aid on an annual basis through to 2009.
Richard Boucher, assistant Secretary of State is to visit Pakistan in July to take up the ‘war on terror’ and may give final warning about aid discontinuance, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President of Pakistan Economy Watch at a meeting here today.
He said that leadership in Pakistan never took economics seriously and the country’s economy only excelled during US wars – Cold War, Afghan War and War against Terror. Economy was performing well since war against terror was initiated but now its worst off. “Our economic managers never planned properly and now time has come to do something,” said Dr. Murtaza Mughal adding that it is amazing that now economy is on the downturn despite continued war against terror which can trigger in a civil war in Pakistan any time.
He said that end on economic honeymoon with United States of America would be very difficult but it will be in the interest of Pakistan in the long run. “It will remain a mystery as to who stole the funds that should have been used to revive economy,” he said. Secretary General of Pakistan Economy Watch Azmatullah asked ex servicemen to come forward and throw some light on the issue of a mishandling of US aid too. He said US and North Atlantic Treaty Organization should not see Pakistan behind everything that goes wrong in Afghanistan and should put its own house in order before threatening allies of choking them economically.-SANA