WASHINGTON (AFP) – The administration of President George W. Bush plans to pour 750 million dollars worth of aid into Pakistan’s tribal areas in a bid to wrest it away from Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants, The New York Times reported on its website late Sunday.
But citing unnamed officials involved in the planning, the newspaper said some people were warning of the dangers of distributing so much money in an area where oversight is impossible.
Who will be given the aid has quickly become one of the most contentious questions between local officials and American planners concerned that millions might fall into the wrong hands, the report said.
A draft of the US Agency for International Development plan given to The Times by an official who worked on it warns that the “severe governance deficiencies” in the tribal areas will make it virtually impossible for the aid to be sustainable or to overcome the “area’s chronic underdevelopment and consequent volatility,” the paper pointed out.
The plan was highlighted during a visit to Pakistan in June by Richard Boucher, the assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, as a measure of Washington’s support for Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, The Times said.