US favours civilian control of Pak spy agencies

US favours civilian control of Pak spy agencies
The News, May 24, 2008
By Tariq Butt

ISLAMABAD: The United States has told top political leaders of Pakistan including the ruling coalition partners that Washington supports civilian control of military and intelligence operations, including the money spent on them.

A document titled US Mission Pakistan, prepared by the American Embassy Islamabad, that was distributed during separate briefings to leaders of different political parties outlined the US goals as: “To strengthen a long-term, multi-dimensional US-Pakistan relationship: support the new coalition government; support civilian control of military and intelligence operations, including budgets; combat extremism that threatens US and Pakistan; and assist economic development to improve the lives of the Pakistani people.”

Briefings based on this document, a copy of which is available with The News, have been given to top leaders of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) PML-Q, Awami National Party, Jamiat Ulemae Islam (JUI) and others including Asif Zardari, Nawaz Sharif and Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain.

Regarding law enforcement training and assistance the document said the US government has trained over 6,500 law enforcement personnel with over 1,000 courses in 2007 alone. Courses are conducted in the US, Pakistan and other countries.

Programmes include FBI National Academy (for senior law enforcement officials), post-blast investigation, anti-terrorism VIP protection, police management, investigative enhancement, academy development, civil disturbance management, explosive recognition and international standards.

The FBI has offered investigative, forensic and laboratory assistance for counterterrorism cases to help identify the sources and methods of attack on Pakistani citizens. Regarding security assistance and sales, the document said foreign military sales or FMS (total caseload exceeds $5 billion) includes Cobra helicopters, night vision goggles, TOW missiles and radios for the Pakistan Army; P3 aircraft and Harpoon missiles for the Pakistan Navy; and 18 F-16 fighters, 6 C-130 transports and radars for the Pakistan Air Force.

The assistance also included foreign military financing of $300 million per year (2005-2009). An amount of $14 million was spent on education and training of 761 students in 2002-2008 and $3.8 will be utilised for the same purpose for 200 students in 2009-2010.

Coalition support funds paid to-date are $5.6 billion: covers reimbursement cost for GWOT (global war on terrorism) related operations; $1.2 billion legal authority/year; cash payment deposited in Pakistan’s treasury; Pakistan is the largest recipient; average claim exceeds $100 million per month; last payment $281.7 million paid in February 2008 for March-June 2007 claims; ODRP (Office of Defence Representative, Pakistan) validating 75 per cent of claims in past year; and validating: rations, clothing, medical support, maintenance, ammunition, transportation, etc.

About border security and Frontier law enforcement, the document said since 2002 the American government has provided vehicles, bullet-proof vests, helmets, generators, night-vision goggles and communications equipment to law enforcement agencies: Frontier Corps North West Frontier Province (NWFP) $20 million; Frontier Corps Balochistan $22 million, Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) $9 million and Coast Guard $2 million.

Construction began in early 2007 on the $5 million Levy training centre in Jamrud, Khyber Agency, and an additional $7 million has been allocated to support training and equipment requirements for the Levies.

The US government has financed the construction or refurbishment of 150 border outposts of the Frontier Corps, Frontier Constabulary and Levies. Over 500 km of roads and over 800 small irrigation and electrification projects have been completed throughout the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and NWFP. Work is currently in progress on an additional 472 km of roads and 18 steel bridges in Fata. An amount of $5 million has been provided in support of the creation of a construction management unit within Fata secretariat to manage the construction of roads in Fata.

Military assistance for Fata for 2007 consisted of $29.4 million to support expansion of Frontier Corps by 8 wings, provide communication and night vision equipment; develop a Frontier Corps training centre at Warsak and establish border coordination centres at Torkham and Lwara and hopefully in Pakistan within the coming year.

In 2008, an amount of $145 million has been allocated for Frontier Corps construction, training and equipment special forces (SSG): $31 million (2007 and 2008) to improve capacity to target militants with minimal civilian causalities with SSG ground and aviation training and communications and other non-lethal equipment.

The document also lists US mission Pakistan’s elections support, Fata Development Strategy, Reconstruction of Opportunity Zones, counter narcotics programmes, USAID’s $2.3 billion in development assistance from 2002-07, public affairs programmes, the mission’s funding in fields of energy, human rights and economic, commercial and agriculture affairs.

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