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Pakistan Center for Philanthropy


Very little “Soft Power” from United States is reaching the Poor Villagers in Pakistan but lots of “Hard Power” is reaching innocent Tribals and destroying them.
Pakistan Link Dec 19,2008


United States Continues to send 100’s of Millions of Dollars as Economic Assistance to Pakistan. Then why all this US Taxpayer money creating 1000’s more enemies instead of winning the Hearts and Minds of the Pakistanis?

Couple of simple reasons. Most US money for economic aid to Pakistan is being channeled into Pakistan through USAID. There is likelihood that no serious qualification; accountability or verification before and after the contract is awarded. USAID solicits bids for implementing poverty alleviation and education programs on the ground all over Pakistan. This has spawned a major new industry called the NGOs. I now hear that we now may have close to 60,000 NGOs and Companies operating in Pakistan that mainly rely on getting USAID contracts. Most are only on paper and fly by night operations. Possibly 90% of the USAID money with these NGOs goes into overhead, expenses, salaries. Maybe less than 10% goes to the project making no difference in the poor villager’s life in any way. The cycle of few becoming richer at the expense of village masses becoming poorer gets worse.

At the same time US bombings are killing very high percentage of tribal civilians and very small number of foreigners linked with terrorism. To US it is collateral damage but to the tribals it is plain murder. Tribals are not highly educated and don’t understand the word “Collateral Damage” . All they see is a foreign enemy in the sky preparing to take over their 1000’s year old land, destroy their livelihood and kill their friends and families. This has created more enemies and hatred against the West along the entire tribal belt. Pakistan is paying a heavy penalty for this US action.

The best way forward is for US to connect with the select and qualified Pakistani American Diaspora specially the Diaspora from the Tribal area in US to understand the tribal cultures and start winning hearts and minds of the people with the help of the diaspora.

                                   By: Pervaiz Lodhie  (email: PLodhie@LEDtronics.com)
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