Dear USA, Please Stop The Aid
It’s been over 60 years since the first official contact between Pakistan and USA took place and our founding father, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, made a blunder for which our nation is still paying the price.
He asked you for ‘Aid’ !!
The requested amount totaled $2 Billion of which you provided ‘Aid’ amounted to $10 Million, just 0.5% of the requested assistance. It was American money, so you were fully in your right to refuse any more help. It set a precedent that haunts us to this day where our politicians and establishment elements look for more aid, loan and grants from you and refuse to clean up the mess created in our own backyard.
The same aid, irrespective of the intentions, has led us to where we are today. A beggar nation full of natural wealth but not an iota of capability to utilize it. We are like a person who wears expensive but borrowed clothes, walk with empty wallet and completely oblivious that it has a ton of gold which he simply has no idea what to do with when he finds it. We have all the solutions to our problems, yet we are not willing to look for them; we continue to rely on ‘Aid’ from you even though little good has come out of it.
The reliance on ‘Aid’ has led us to:
1- Completely depend on your money to tackle balance of payments and budget deficit problems
2- Sideline the need to streamline our own processes to root out inefficiencies
3- Ignore corrective measures as long as ‘jo chal raha hai, chalnay do’ (leave it be as long as it works)
4- Ignore corrosive problems like tax evasion because aid money was utilized instead
5- Permitting Army to grow too strong for the nation’s own good
6- Establishment enjoy luxury and embezzle with impunity and without fear of repercussions
7- Weakened the many government departments who have been under-performing since corrective measures were not taken
8- Trained into believing that all solutions to our problems lay with you and your continued support
9- Question our own morality, integrity, ability to progress, religious values, national stances and what not because ultimately everything is compared to what you have or do, without considering the possibility that what we have or do might be better if we only stop for two seconds and think over rationally.
10- Polarize our own country where a very small segment, rich enough to enjoy foreign trips and tours, look down on the rest as if they are unfortunates and retards, consider cultural values as joke and humble natures as weakness.
Much of what I say would seem like an unfair, biased, idiotic and even maniacal comparison to what seem to be reality, but even the fall of pebble in pond sends ripples to its entire surface. The flutter of butterfly wings in one part of the world may create a storm somewhere far away, and that is something what ‘Aid’ has done to Pakistan; conditioned it to believe that everything will be fine when your money will pour in.
Your timing of ‘Aid’ is also quite astonishing because it starts poring in as soon as there is some form of dictatorship in the country. First it was Ayub Khan, then Zia-Ul-Haq, then Pervaiz Musharraf and now Asif Ali Zardari. You have trained the dictators to leech from the American money, live luxuriously and set a general trend of how things should be. Once the ‘Aid’ is gone as soon as democratic government comes, the new regime has to battle it out with itself, the system left behind and much more that forces it to leech from the people in order to make things work. Your money has easily developed a system where people have no idea what is worse, the dictatorship or the democracy, since dictatorship gives nothing to the people and democracy takes away what is left.
With the current regime, all former records have been broken many times over.
If stopping the ‘Aid’ means:
1- Unable to finance trade deficit
2- Shut down of major projects
3- Loss of scholarships for students
4- Unable to finance budget deficits
5- The Army becomes less capable
6- Unable to repay loans
7- Loss of privileges for the elites
8- Many sectors of our economy will begin to struggle
9- Reduction in foreign direct investment
10- Curtailing the ability for the government to initiate development projects
11- Less chances of having a Dictator again
Then I would consider it a fair deal to cut off the ‘Aid’ completely. Right now your money is like an addictive drug, one that we can’t let go even if it is a trickle (which it really is). Maybe, in the next 20 years, we would be able to stand on our feet, reduce corruption and nepotism, catch tax evaders and bring them to account, curtail the ridiculous imports and improve local products quality, increase exports by targeting new markets, improve our education system to hammer out all the flaws rotting it, find ways to make use of our natural resources, utilize our manpower in more efficient ways, get into R&D and do away with foreign dependence, kick out so-called-leaders who are doing nothing but saluting to foreign masters and empower common man to take decisions and be master of his own destiny.
We can’t do that unless we do away with your ‘Aid’ shackles. If you really want to help us, then please stop this ‘Aid’ and allow us to deal with our problems our own way.
Wasio Ali Khan Abbasi