Ahmed Rashid’s Strange Plan

by Tariq Ali

Ahmed Rashid: Pentagon's man in Pakistan

A few days ago, the West’s favorite Pakistani journalist, Ahmed Rashid, wrote a ‘guest column’ on the BBC website in which he suggested that the Afghan governance model be transferred to Pakistan:

Pakistan’s Reconstruction Trust Fund could be run by a board that included the World Bank, other international lending agencies and independent and prominent Pakistani economists and social welfare figures with no ties to the government.

Pakistanis would still take all the major decisions, but those who did so would not be the cronies of the president, the PM or the opposition leaders.Pakistan’s finance bureaucracy and army would have seats at the table, but certainly no veto powers over how the money is spent.

Their job would be impartial implementation of recovery overseen by the Trust Fund. Such a fund would not just monitor the cash, but help the government put together a non-political, neutral reconstruction effort. It would also help plan long-term economic reforms….

The notion that that the World Bank, IMF and friends are ‘non-political’ and ‘neutral’ is risible and not worth wasting time on, especially given that their supervision of Afghanistan’s largest bank (largely owned and controlled by the Karzai family and just as corrupt as Zardari and his cronies) doesn’t seem to have been all that effective since it collapsed just as the BBC website published the path-breaking text.

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Exit Afghanistan

This excellent documentary produced by the Dutch VPROInternational is a must see. It presents a picture of the Afghan  conflict with the kind of nuance you are unlikely to find on British or American TV.

Continue reading “Exit Afghanistan”