Britain gives Pakistan £1bn to fight extremism

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Lovell, Jul 4, 2008.

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  1. Britain gives Pakistan £1bn to fight extremism

    Britain is doubling its aid to Pakistan to almost £500 million, reflecting concern over rising Islamic militancy in the lawless areas along the border with Afghanistan.

    About a third of the money is expected to be spent in provinces abutting the porous western border, where the Taleban and other militant forces are increasingly challenging the authority of the central Government.

    Douglas Alexander, the International Development Secretary, yesterday announced the £480 million package that will make Pakistan the second-largest recipient of British aid by 2011. More than £250 million will be earmarked for education, with plans to get five million Pakistani children into school and to boost training opportunities for young people.

    Much of the extra money will go on improving schools in the border areas, in an attempt to tackle poor literacy, particularly among girls, which lags far behind Pakistan’s already low rate of about 50 per cent. There are hopes that such programmes will help the Pakistani Government to counter the influence of the radical madrassas that have become seedbeds of Islamic militancy.

    “You can’t have any real successful efforts to counter radicalism without education,” said Robert Templer, director of the Asia programme at the International Crisis Group. “It’s desperately needed. If this area isn’t dealt with, it’s going to be a festering problem for decades to come.”

    It is the first time that significant funding will be channelled towards Baluchistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, with a big increase also going to North West Frontier Province, areas that serve as a base for militants linked to the Taleban and al-Qaeda.

    Thousands of Pakistani troops are currently engaged in fighting the insurgents responsible for cross-border attacks on Nato forces. Development work in these areas, considered unsafe for Western aid workers, is likely to pose a significant challenge. Hostility to outsiders has increased since US missile attacks on suspected militants inside Pakistan’s borders.

    Most of the money will be channelled through central and local government, the Department for International Development said, while acknowledging that corruption would be a problem.

    “We have been committed to helping Pakistan’s efforts in the fight against poverty for many years,” Mr Alexander said.

    “Our aim is to continue to help improve poor people’s lives in key areas, making sure they have access to better healthcare, schools and employment opportunities.”

    An MoD spokesman said: “The stability of the wider region, particu-larly the Pakistan border area, is vitally important to the continuing efforts to bring peace and security to Afghanistan. This cannot be achieved through just military means.”

    In addition to the health and education programmes, Britain will provide £50 million to the State Bank of Pakistan to help to make loans and bank accounts available to the poor. Funds will also be available for reconstruction work in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir. More than 80,000 people died in the earthquake that hit Pakistan’s northern areas in 2005. Britain has previously provided £128 million in relief and reconstruction aid.
  2. And yet they can afford a Nuclear Program Hmnnn :evil:
  3. Wonderful
    So while here in the UK people struggle on despite massive inflation (you know, real inflation, not that dribble that Brown goes on about) and our armed forces are starved of cash where it counts we must prop up yet another country.
    Sorry but Pakistan is not deserving of British taxpayers cash. More money pissed away.
  4. Remind me how many IED/Mine protected trucks this money could have gotten the boys in Afghanistan?
    Or how many dozens of helicopters this could have got us?

  5. Well, before we jump on the outrage wagon lets take a deep breath.

    The money that is going to Pakistan would help stop future suicide bombers and AL-Qaeda. It also stops the people of those areas to join the taliban against the British troops. Overall, a more educated and stable Pakistan means that fewer British troops/people are killed and the sooner troops get out of Afghanistan. So in a way it is helping Britain's security... as long as it is administered properly.
  6. Its freely admitted in the articl that corruption in expected to be a problem.
    It is not reasonable given the state of the UK economy to piss away £1000,000,000 of the taxpayers money to Pakistan to line the pockets of whoever feels inclined to take a slice of it.
    It isn't going to help British troops over the Border in Afghanistan, its going to line the pockets of every interested party who can get his sweaty palms upon it.
    The chances of i helping Britains security in the slightest are slim to fook all. Its a waste of money we can ill afford. Again
  7. I refer you to the end on my post.
  8. My problem is Pakistan is not a poor nation. If it can afford Nukes it can afford to tackle terrorists.
    And its not like sorting out the Taliban isn’t in Pakistan’s own best interest.
  9. Probably better spent if it were invested in a minefield along Pakistan's "porous" western border, thus reducing the potential for cross-border incursions.

    Remind me, which bright spark put a stop to minefields?
  10. I acknowledge what you said at the end of your post, the point I am trying to make is that there is absolutely no chance at all that spending this money will be administered properly.
    As HMG knows that its impossible then its just chucking good money away.
    Why must we pour away a billion quid in Pakistan when the populance of our own country are suffering badly as a consequence of poor government financial magement?

    For this price we could have had half a billion in tax cuts plus a half billion increase in defence spending. Some tit in Whitehall decided it was better used to chuck the cash at Pakistan instead.
    I'm really chuffed that when I spend £6 on a gallon of diesel and Brown robs me of a few more quid each week the money is thrown away like this.
  11. Pakistan decided it could do better on its own than as part of the domain of the Great White Raj in the late 40´s early ´50´s. What´s up with them then?

    No more aid for them, plough in to more aid for our troops fighting in Iraqistan and in to our own dramas such as schools playing pitches and swimming pools.
  12. Better spent on instant sunshining the whole region... but then im not feeling particularly liberal towards Pakistan since they are at the root of a lot of the bloody problem to begin with.

    not to mention opps 'illegal nuke's' and have we sold the haynes manual on it like a Prada dress on Ebay
  13. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    If we are not willing to support Pakistan then we should withdraw from both sandpits asap. There is nothing to be gained from killing terry if he is being replaced almost as fast and in turn causing cas amongst us.
    In fact a withdrawal from Afg and spend the money in Pakistan supporting the border!
  14. Jagman.. the money that is being spent there has not been taken away form the soldiers or other areas. It would not have been used to prop up the economy because government does not work that way. Giving the population more money would only put the economy in an inflation spiral. leading to higher prices.

    Even if the MOD did get the money.. we could be just as sure they would spend it on some fancy gadget instead of supporting front line troops...
  15. I know where you are coming from but I still maintain that if the UK has a billion Pounds to spare then it could have been far better spent. Not least by not taking it off those who earned it in the 1st place (the taxpayer).
    I'm not talking of doling out a billion quid, I'm talking of not taking it off us in the 1st place (10% tax rate argument would be a good place to start)
    This billion Pounds comes from one source only, the UK taxpayer, giving it away to Pakistan is frankly an insult to all those struggling to pay their gas bill this year.