In the last couple of years, Washington has earmarked a bigger chunk of its aid to Pakistan for civilian projects, hoping to engender goodwill with the country’s intensely anti-American populace. The latest polling suggests that the strategy hasn’t worked.
About 75 percent of Pakistanis surveyed regard the United States as an enemy, according to a poll released this week by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project. That’s actually up more than 10 percent since three years ago, when 64 percent said they viewed America as an enemy.
A key reason for the ongoing ill will appears to be America’s use of drone strikes as a tactic against Islamist militants based in Pakistan. According to the Pew survey, only 17 percent of Pakistanis surveyed said they support the strikes. Pakistanis even appear less willing to back the use of their own military against Islamist extremists. In the new survey, 32 percent supported the use of Pakistani security forces, a sizable drop from 53 percent three years ago.
A growing number of Pakistanis also feel that improving relations with Washington isn’t a major priority, the poll found. Last year, 60 percent of Pakistanis surveyed said strengthening ties with the United States was important; this year only 45 percent said they feel that way.
The United States channels hundreds of millions of dollars in military and economic aid to Pakistan every year. Much of that aid is for such civilian needs as limiting Pakistan’s crippling power crisis and improving its weak education system.
Yet about 40 percent of Pakistanis surveyed said they think that U.S. economic and military assistance actually has a negative effect on their country. Only 12 percent said they believe that economic assistance from Washington helps solve Pakistan’s problems.
Relations between the United States and Pakistan are at their lowest point since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the United States. Anger resounds over U.S. air strikes that mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last November, the secret U.S. commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden in the military city of Abbottabad in May 2011, which Pakistanis viewed as a blatant breach of their sovereignty, and the killing of two Pakistanis by a CIA contractor in the eastern city of Lahore in January 2011.
Between 2002-2010, Pakistan received approximately $18 billion in military and economic aid from the United States. In February 2010, the Obama administration requested an additional $3 billion in aid, for a total of $20.7 billion.
Western officials have claimed nearly 70% (roughly $3.4 billion) of the aid given to the military has been misspent in 2002-2007 and used to cover the civilian deficit. However U.S-Pakistani relationship has been a transactional based and U.S military aid to Pakistan and aid conditions has been shrouded in secrecy for several years until recently.Furthermore a significant proportion of U.S. economic aid for Pakistan has ended up in back in the U.S., as funds are channeled through large U.S. contractors. A U.S. lawmaker also said majority of U.S. economic aid has not left the U.S. as it spent on consulting fees and overhead cost.
|Year||Military (USD in billions)||Economic (USD in billions)|
|2002||1.36||1.233 for 2002 to 2004|
|2003||1.500||1.233 for 2002 to 2004|
|2004||1.200||1.233 for 2002 to 2004|
|Total||11.740 billion||6.08 billion|