'Why sacrifice our kids' future for Pakistan?'
Americans are sacrificing their children's future to build infrastructure in Pakistan, a senior Senator has said.
With the Obama administration pumping in billions of dollars, do the people of Pakistan have even a modicum of appreciation of what America is doing for this South Asian country, Senator Jim Rish has asked.
"This government's going to borrow 41 cents out of every dollar it spends this year. I mean, this is a real sacrifice Americans are making, and they're sacrificing their children's and grand children's future in order to build infrastructure in Pakistan," Senator Jim Rish said at a Congressional hearing.
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'The question is why we're doing it?'
"Do they have even a modicum of appreciation for what Americans are doing for them" Rish asked Cameron Munter, who has been nominated by Obama as the next US Ambassador to Pakistan.
"I've read the polling materials, which really aren't very encouraging, to say the least. Do they have even a modicum of understanding that what we're doing for them, whether it be building bridges in the Swat Valley or what have you, that we're encumbering our kids' and our grandkids' future, that we don't have any money anymore," Rish asked at the confirmation hearing of Munter.
"If confirmed, I'll try to verify this. I don't think it's a question that they don't know what we're doing. The question is the scepticism of why we're doing it and what our goals are and what our relationship is," Munter said in response.
Historically, US-Pakistan ties have indicated mistrust
"I know that sounds somewhat soft, but I think the historical experience of America and Pakistan indicates that there have been times of mistrust. We are at this point, with our generous help to Pakistan, which we understand to be in the interests of both countries, we are perhaps not doing as well as we might in understanding the impact of that past and that idea in the mind of Pakistanis when we see these aggregate figures of popularity 17 per cent of the people positive and scepticism about the American assistance," he said.
"So the task we have is we do have to make sure that we're honest, open and clear about the process, that it's understood to be a straightforward and honest process in investing this money, and that it's understood why we're doing it, and that we understand and we're able to articulate to Americans that the reason this is taking time is because of the historical scepticism," Munter said.
'There are many who are sceptical about our motives'
Whether or not they're right, the question is, there are many who are sceptical about our motives, Munter said.
"It is human nature that people like to see some kind of appreciation for the sacrifices that they're making. Perhaps when you're there, in order to diminish the fear of the motives and what have you, if they have a clearer understanding of the sacrifices when we don't have any money anymore. It's gone. We're spending our kids' and our grandkids' money," Senator Rish said.
"Certainly they are human beings like we are, and they understand when you're encumbering your kids' and your grandkids' future, what a -- what a sacrifice that is and what level that rises to as far as sacrifice is concerned, so perhaps that will help as you move forward to convince them that our motivations are what they are," the Senator said.