Washington: As if a $7.5 billion civilian aid and $3 billion military assistance is not enough, Pakistan’s envoy to the US Husain Haqqani has sought $30 billion under Marshall Plan to fight Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
In an interaction with the editors and reporters of The Washington Times, Haqqani argued this $30 billion is far less than the current stimulus packages being doled out to banks and other US companies.
“Despite the economic issues that the world is facing, the cost of a Marshall Plan for Afghanistan and Pakistan is going to be minuscule (compared) to the bailouts being given to American car companies and AIG (American International Group),” Haqqani was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
“And the impact in terms of American security and in terms of the longer term stability of the world in a very precarious region will be far greater. Pakistan has the will to fight terrorists, it needs the means and the United States should provide those,” he said.
While the Kerry-Lugar bill has proposed tripling of the non-civilian aid to Pakistan to $1.5 billion a year, he said Pakistan needs $5 billion a year for the next five years from the US and its allies to build local law enforcement of about 100,000 men, strengthen counterinsurgency against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda and persuade average citizen that the US-led war on extremism is Pakistan’s war and essential for the country’s survival.