Islamabad, June 25 (Agencies): Pakistan’s Opposition yesterday denounced a $3-billion US aid pledge secured by President Pervez Musharraf as a disgrace to the country and evidence of subservience to Washington.
The vice-president of Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan’s main Islamic party, said Musharraf had obtained “nothing” for his people in his meeting with President George W. Bush at Camp David on Tuesday.
Khursheed Ahmed added that Bush’s refusal to deliver 28 F-16 fighter aircraft under a stalled deal dating back to the 1990s was “actually a slap on our faces”. “The $3-billion aid package is a disgrace for Pakistani people.”
“Musharraf has provided every support in the so-called war against terrorism, but in return what has he got' I would say nothing for the people of Pakistan.”
He accused Musharraf of pursuing a policy that has made Pakistan “subservient” to Washington and said it was unclear how much of the package would go to important debt rescheduling. “Even if $1 billion of the package goes to debt rescheduling, then I would say Musharraf has compromised on peanuts.”
Senator Faratullah Babar, spokesperson of the Pakistan People’s Party led by Benazir Bhutto, said: “The economic package… is dismal and disappointing. It is far too short of what could have been achieved given the losses incurred by Pakistan in economic, political and social sectors because of its support to the international community in the fight against terrorism.”
The spokesman said former dictator, General Zia ul Haq had got $4.2 billion as aid and 40 F-16s from the US in return for offering the country as a frontline state to fight the proxy war in Afghanistan in the 1980s.
“General Musharraf and his cronies may crow over the $3 billion package but the fact remains that it is less than even what Zia had got from the US,” he said.
Babar said Bhutto herself had got $4.6 billion and 60 F-16s from the US during her tenure as prime minister.
Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) acting president, Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, also termed the package “disappointing”. Pakistan had suffered a huge loss during the war on terrorism and the package was inadequate, he said.