Obama's skewed policy: No jobs at home but still sending $2.5 billion aid to Pak | Last Modified - Jul 05, 2012, 12:26 PM IST
Islamabad: Over 20 million Americans either cannot find work, have given up searching or have been forced to accept part-time jobs since the time US President Obama took office. Last month U.S. manufacturing shrank for the first time since 2009. The US economy is unlikely to do much better as the recently received forcast says that the economy will grow very slowly at an annual rate of 2 per cent.
With the crisis at home on the boil, how is Obama finding $2.5 billion dollars to send as aid to Pakistan?
In a bid to create jobs at home, Obama has proposed the American Jobs act which will provide tax rebates to those companies offering jobs to americans and not to ones that 'send these jobs overseas'. However, according to reports the bill for this act would come up to a whopping $256 billion.
So why is Obama not utilising the money America sorely needs to help jumpstart its economy and instead bailing out cash-strapped Pakistan?
There is no simple answers to the question. However the fact is that America has paid a terrible price for 'War on Terror' and the worst is not over yet.
This aid to Pakistan comes after the end of a standoff between the two sides on NATO supply routes to Afghanistan.
The disbursements, especially reimbursements from the US Coalition Support Fund (CSF) for Pakistan's expenses on the war on terror, might relieve the government of pressure it is facing because of depleting foreign exchange reserves which necessitated an immediate bailout from the InternationalMonetary Fund.
The US is expected to pay USD 1.5 billion to two billion during the current fiscal year from the CSF, the Dawn newspaper quoted its sources as saying. About USD 700 million to USD one billion is expected under the Kerry-Lugar Berman Act and Foreign Military Financing (FMF).
An unnamed official said Pakistan's claims for about USD 1.3 billion from the CSF had already completed a 10-stage approval and reconciliation process of the US government and only banking instructions are needed for the amount to be transferred into Pakistan's accounts.
Bills worth another USD 800 million to USD one billion had passed the reconciliation process and were awaiting approval because of political issues surrounding the closure of NATO supply routes.
"We are expecting disbursements to start within the current month," an official said. Pakistan had closed the supply lines after a cross-border NATO attack killed 24 of its soldiers last year. It ended the blockade after the US apologised for the attack.