Nytt

Den pakistanske hæren er rasende på betingelsene USA har knyttet til den nye bistanden på 1,7 milliarder dollar i året. Hæren reagerer på krav om at den ikke skal blande seg i politikk. Den reagerer kanskje også på kontroll med hvor pengene tar veien: Harvard University gjennomførte en studie av hva som skjedde med de 1,8 milliarder dollar som Pakistan fikk i miltærhjelp i 2008. Av pengene ble bare 300 millioner dollar brukt til formålet. Resten forsvant.

Det handler derfor om «business» og ære, og de to er uadskillelige, for det er rollen som stat i staten som gjør at hæren kan skalte og valte som den vil.

The Pakistani military took the unusual step last week of issuing a statement expressing its concern about the Bill, just before the parliamentary debate. It was most offended by the explicit condition that Pakistani civilian leaders should have oversight of military appointments.

«I hope the whole thing is scrapped,» one senior military officer told The Times. «At the very least we want it amended.»

US officials say that they are surprised by the level of opposition in Pakistan, and admit that the wording of the Bill was mistaken.

They also warn that amending the Bill, or drafting a new one, could take months, if not years, at a time when Pakistan is desperately short of funds.

They are now discussing a compromise under which Mr Obama makes a public statement addressing Pakistan’s concerns as he signs the Bill into law. Another option is for Congress to address Pakistan’s concerns in the Bill’s official «legislative history».

Even if such a compromise is found, there is still a raging dispute over whether the funds should be spent through Pakistani or international non-governmental organisations. Mr Holbrooke and Pakistani leaders want USAid, America’s international aid agency, to distribute more money through Pakistani NGOs, as called for in the Bill.

Barack Obama’s Pakistan policy in disarray after opposition to $7.5bn aid conditions