Pakistan being arm twisted to give free hand to US


Pakistan has suffered enormous loss, both in innocent human lives as well as economic terms, due to US’s illegal and ill advised invasion of Afghanistan. So, while Pakistan’s military is overstretched and engaged in operations incurring financial and human costs, what does “ally?” US do?
Plays politics and arm twisting to get free hand for its contractors and diplomats to roam freely in Pakistan. The funds being withheld are not aid but money that belongs to Pakistan. Meanwhile, British embassy has mislaid hundreds of Pakistani passports. And yet the West sees fit to chide Pakistan to do more in terms of security. Links and quotes below.

Frustration over delay in Coalition Support Fund

ISLAMABAD: The authorities are frustrated over ‘unfair holding back’ by the United States of money under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) that has now reached $2.6 billion. It has caused drawing down on security reserves and a 45 per cent cut in development projects.

According to official estimates, the amount will cross $3 billion by June this year, despite the release of $349 million last week.

“It’s our money and its payment should not be delayed on flimsy grounds. It’s not aid, assistance or loan that could be released on US terms,” the official said.

In background discussions, officials grumble about the non-payment of dues and suggest that it has become clear that accounting procedures and visa issues are being “created” by US authorities to constrict Pakistan’s fiscal space for political reasons. “It’s simply arm twisting to say the least.”

‘Nato tankers cause annual loss of Rs50bn’

QUETTA: Federal Minister for Communications Arbab Alamgir Khan said on Wednesday that Nato containers and tankers had been causing a yearly loss of Rs50 billion to the National Highway Authority by damaging the road network in Balochistan.

“About 100 Nato containers pass through Balochistan daily before entering Afghanistan via Chaman,” he said. The road between Port Qasim and Chaman had been damaged very badly, he added.

He said the tankers had also been causing traffic accidents, claiming many lives in the province.

US wants hassle-free visa for its nationals

ISLAMABAD: Washington wants Islamabad to put in place a restriction free and uniform visa regime for its diplomats and embassy staff posted here allowing them to carry out ‘full range of activities

The government recently issued most of the requested visas in an effort to placate an angry Washington, which had linked it to the release of the deferred Coalition Support Fund reimbursements.

British mission lost hundreds of Pakistani passports


“We have concluded that 118 passports were lost and the loss took place in Islamabad as against the general impression that they went missing while being transferred to the regional hub in Abu Dhabi,” a senior diplomat said.

He, however, emphasized that the matter was still being investigated and it was difficult to precisely say what caused the loss of such a big number of passports.

Pakistani investigators say the numbers could be much higher and could run into hundreds.

“It is scary to think of such a large number of passports, many of them having valid visas of other countries, falling into the wrong hands. The BHC may need to review its entire system for the security of the documents submitted to it by visa applicants to prevent such occurrences,” a senior Pakistani security official observed.

The serious implications of passport loss were highlighted by a number of terrorist incidents and more recently by investigation into the assassination of an important Hamas leader Mabhouh al-Mahmoud in Dubai.

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