Similarly, in the security arena, external diktat mostly works. Only local players can legitimately contest over competing threat perceptions. External players at best can share their wisdom on security matters. The arm twisting delivers results only when a blundering state becomes vulnerable, as Pakistan did during Kargil. Threat perceptions, often grounded in a potpourri of historical facts, myths and fears are not susceptible to arm-twisting or counter-threats. Hard work on bilateral relationships which yields increased cooperation, progress towards resolution of outstanding problems and trust building, can alter threat perceptions.
Aid bills also can’t dictate the direction and development of Pakistan’s critical military security asset, that is, its nuclear programme. That will be determined by strategic developments in the region. The attempt to curtail Pakistan’s nuclear programme by disallowing it to use its own funds that may be untied from projects that US aid may fund is a non-starter way of influencing a state’s security policies.
“It is clearly a compromise on the national interests as the Government of Pakistan and its lobbying persons not only let the US administration free to impose the toughest conditions but also failed to impress upon the US Congressmen in favour of Pakistan.”
Nisar went on to maintain that the Kerry-Lugar legislation was a negation of the country’s sovereignty and integrity. When asked about a clear and flawless stand of the PML-N on the Kerry-Lugar Bill, the opposition leader said his party could never become a part of this legislation, which being a nation is contrary to our interests.
Gen. Kayani (via Amir Mir’s “well-placed sources”):
According to well placed military circles in Rawalpindi, Pakistani Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani has made it clear to the decision makers in Islamabad that certain observations made in the Kerry-Lugar Bill were meant to degrade the Pakistani security establishment and that the Obama administration should be made to understand Islamabad’s right to decide issues of national security and foreign policy. The sources said the Pakistani Army Chief, during his October 6 meeting in Islamabad with Commander of International Forces in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal, has already conveyed the security establishment’s serious reservations. According to the sources, General Kayani told McChrystal that like the Pakistani people, the military and intelligence services were furious at the observations made on Pakistan’s security establishment in the Kerry-Lugar Bill.
‘The tone and tenor of the bill in terms of conditionalities is not just intrusive, it’s also overbearing and bordering on the humiliation of Pakistan,’ said Mushahid Hussain, a leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q. ‘We are not being treated kindly.’
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Sunday termed Kerry -Lugar Bill as negation of country’s sovereignty, saying any amount of foreign assistance at the cost of freedom and prestige of the country was not acceptable to the proud people of Pakistan.
Talking to people and representatives of media during his more than five-hour long visit to different areas of the provincial metropolis to review development projects, the CM said that no nation could prosper with foreign help and the pratice of reliance on others will have to be shed as the objective of economic prosperity and genuine independence could only be achieved by remaining within available resources and working tirelessly.
Salmaan Taseer later responded to Sharif’s arguments against the Bill by pointing out that Sharif was wrong in saying that the $1.5 billion/year was in the form of loans:
On Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s comments over the aid received through the bill, Taseer said if the aid was “an intoxicant” for the nation then the $150 million received by the Punjab government as a loan from the Asian Development Bank was “not less than poison”, reiterating the bill was “a grant not a loan”. On tabling the Kerry-Lugar bill in parliament, he said the Obama administration and the US Congress had passed it and it had nothing to do with the Pakistan government.