US speeds aid for Pak drives on Taliban

Washington has provided Islamabad with about US$ 12 billion post 9/11


During preparations this spring for the Pakistani campaigns in Swat and South Waziristan, President Obama personally intervened at the request of Pakistan’s top army general to speed the delivery of 10 Mi-17 troop transport helicopters.
American military surveillance drones are feeding video images and target information to Pakistani ground commanders, and the Pentagon has quietly provided the Pakistani Air Force with high-resolution, infrared sensors for F-16 warplanes, which Pakistan is using to guide bomb attacks on militants’ strongholds in South Waziristan.

Anti-US sentiment
Underscoring the complexity of the relationship between the allies, Pakistani officials are loath to publicise the aid because of the deep-seated anti-American sentiment in Pakistan. And they privately express frustration about the pace and types of aid, which totals about US$ 1.5 billion this year.

At a military briefing on Saturday, Pakistani Army spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas said the fight in South Waziristan was a purely Pakistani enterprise, unaided by the United States or anyone else. “Let us finish the job on our own,” he told reporters.
Hasan Askari Rizvi, a military analyst in Lahore, said that publicly acknowledging the military aid — an open secret in Pakistan — could hand militants fresh ammunition for propaganda attacks.

“The Pakistan military would not like to talk about the US assistance,”he said, “so that the Islamists, most of whom are opposed to military operations, do not get additional reason to criticise the military and the government.”

Best technology
They also gripe that the United States is denying them the best technology, like Predator drones or Apache helicopter gunships.

The United States has provided Pakistan with about US$ 12 billion in military assistance and payments since the September 11, 2001, attacks.
Most significant was Obama’s involvement in speeding the delivery of the 10 Russian-built Mi-17s, at the request of the Pakistani army chief of staff, Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. Four of the transport helicopters were leased to Pakistan in June, and the rest were provided under different authorities to move Pakistani Army soldiers in the border region near Afghanistan.

This year alone, the Pentagon is sending more than US$ 500 million in arms, equipment and training assistance to Pakistan, to help train and equip the Pakistani military for counterinsurgency operations.
The New York Times

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