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U.S. & Japan leading donors to Pakistan

May 7, 2012

Despite the role of Pakistan’s ISI spy service in funding the Taliban, and despite Pakistan serving as host for Osama bin Laden while he was in hiding, the U.S. continues to lead the world in donating development aid to Pakistan.

The Congressional Research Service offers this chart in a recent report:

Wasted Pakistani donations graph

The argument for aid is that strengthens Pakistani institutions and stability which helps decrease the risks that Pakistan would turn into a fundamentalist Islamic state.  But in many ways, Pakistanis already live under sharia law, and the government sponsors jihadists anyway.

Moreover, as author Douglas Wissing has pointed out, mismanaged development aid projects can actually increase instability.  Given what we know about Pakistan’s corruption and consistent mismanagement of public projects and funds, are we actually foolish enough to believe that development aid to Pakistan is being managed well?

If as much scrutiny were applied to aid in Pakistan as has been applied to money spent in Iraq and Afghanistan, I am confident that we would find a string of abuses where aid ends up being contracted out by Pakistani officials to their own relatives, to Islamic militants, or is just outright stolen.

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