to believe Pakistan is a failed state which harbours terrorists
longfingernails · 02/05/2011 13:47
and Britain should leave it well alone?
We certainly shouldn't give hundreds of millions of aid money to this basket case of a country, which gave Osama bin Laden shelter in the very heart of its military centre.
lesley33 · 02/05/2011 13:53
I get a bid fed up I have to admit with people spouting opinions when they know none of the facts.
The aid money given to Pakistan is for schooling. Very little state education happens. So most schools are run by religious sects. There are concerns that these schools are a breeding ground for terrorism as many are run by more extreme religous groupings. The aid money is to set up and run non religious schools thereby hopefully reducing the number of terrorists.
I don't know if this will work, or if it is a good use of money - but we are not just throwing aid money at Pakistan.
I believe Pakistan does harbour terrorists, but it is not a failed state - unless you define a failed state as any country that doesn't follow a western model. Failed states are usually defined as those who have no real control over the running of the country and this is not the case with Pakistan.
longfingernails · 02/05/2011 13:57
Yes, I am sure that the Pakistani state, universally renowned for its honesty and straight-dealing, will diligently ensure that the money goes to "schools", and certainly not towards terrorists hellbent on killing British troops, and destroying the Western way of life.
latitude · 02/05/2011 14:03
Pakistan is a country that has very deep problems and international terrorism is certainly one of them. I don't think we can leave it well alone as look what happened in Afghanistan when the taliban were left well alone, it was openly used as a place for the worlds terrorists to operate in. Add to this the fact that Pakistan has nuclear weapons I don't think we can just ignore them.
Nancy66 · 02/05/2011 14:07
There's no question that the government didn't know where Bin Laden was - he was in a huge villa surrounded by armed guards and barbed wire - who the hell did they think was there?
I feel desperately sorry for the decent, innocent people of Pakistan but I do wisdom of giving so much in aid to a corrupt country that despises the west.
onagar · 02/05/2011 14:10
I thought longfingernails was overstating it for effect and I don't think finding obama there was absolute proof of anything, but lesley you have convinced me they are a failed state!
Very little state education happens. So most schools are run by religious sects. There are concerns that these schools are a breeding ground for terrorism as many are run by more extreme religous groupings. The aid money is to set up and run non religious schools thereby hopefully reducing the number of terrorists.
That sounds like they are not up to looking after themselves. :(
Not that this mean we should interfere really. They have a perfect right to make a mess of things if they want and should find their own funding to do it.
Also is this our future? Very little state education happens. So most schools are run by religious sects
lesley33 · 02/05/2011 14:11
It depends on how the money is given. I don't know how this is being done in Pakistan. But in poor often corrupt governments in Africa there are usually rigorous systems to agree how the money is spent and then making sure it is spent that way. For example, it is easy to assess whether the money being claimed to build a new school is reasonable and then to check that the school has actually being built to a reasonable standard. Similarly easy to check school teachers are being paid and to do spot checks to make sure teachers are actually teaching.
There is certainly the experience around in dealing with aid to corrupt african countries to make sure that virtually all of this aid money is spent on schools. Whether this experience is used to set up good systems with Pakistan I have no idea. But normally no government just gives a load of money to another country just saying we want you to spend this money on x.
If our government did this with Pakistan then the people responsible should be sacked as this would be very irresponsible.
BTW I am not saying all African countries are corrupt. Some are and some are not.
lesley33 · 02/05/2011 14:18
onagar - the usual definition of a failed state is different to the definition of a country not providing for the some of the needs of its citizens. A state may not meet some of the needs of its citizens because of poverty; because of funding decisions they make or because they do not think some basic needs are important.
However this is different from saying a state is a failed state. Pakistan has enough control over the country to set up state education. The fact that it doesn't would mean that most of us would say it is not meeting some of basic needs of its citizens. A failed state would not have enough control over its country to be able to do this, even if it wanted to.
TheBride · 02/05/2011 14:27
I'm not convinced that the government does have enough control over the country to consider itself a proper government. Certainly they are making massive concessions to terrorist groups and the government is so corrupt it's almost funny.
It obviously doesn't help having Afghanistan next door though. Can't see it getting any better in the near future, whilst I can see several reasons why we should expect it to become a failed state, even if it isn't now.
TheBride · 02/05/2011 14:37
I also wonder how the international community will react to the fact that OBL was under the noses of the Pakistani authorities.
I dont think it will come as a massive shock. The problem for the international community is that the population of Pakistan, especially in poorer, more remote, regions, is very susceptible to infiltration by terrorist groups. We saw a lot of this after the earthquake, when the government failed to respond, and the Taliban was wandering around handing out cash and assistance. If the international community washes it's hands of the government, it's not going to help them resist these terrorist pressures.
scaryteacher · 02/05/2011 14:44
It's not (yet) a failed state, though looking at it sometimes, one thinks it won't be long. The Army are making great efforts to get the Taleban out of the tribal areas and to push government control there.
I think the reason that the US didn't advise the Pakistan authorities that they were going in was that the ISI (security services) are not reliable and in our glorious leaders' phrase, 'looks both ways on terrorism'. I agreed with him then and was aghast that he tried to make amends for that remark. We know, and they need to know we know. One of the greatest problems with getting stuff through to our lads in Afghanistan is the ISI.
I am ambivalent about giving them more money. Yes, if it's used for education outside the religious schools, and if girls are educated to a reasonable standard, but no, if it gets diverted into funding or preaching/teaching extremism.
polarbabe · 02/05/2011 14:51
TheBride, so do you think that Pakistan could then be another Afghanistan in the making. Afghanistan pre October 2001 - Taliban Afghanistan, that is? Pakistan as a monolithic, fundametalist, Islamic state?...
It is worrying if the Jihadists do have allies in the armed forces and the government in Pakistan.
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