March 25th, 2010
05:54 PM ET

U.S. pledges millions in aid to Pakistan

WASHINGTON - The United States on Thursday announced tens of millions of dollars of aid to Pakistan, for roads and power plants, as the Obama Administration tries to forge a new relationship with a major ally in the fight against terrorism.

The announcements came as two days of high level talks wrapped up in Washington.

Part of the $40-million in road aid will go to the former Taliban stronghold of the Swat valley, along the country's northwest frontier with Afghanistan. The area was hit hard by a Pakistan army offensive last year to push the Taliban out, forcing many residents from their homes. 

 The U.S. will also sign an agreement Thursday to provide $51-million to upgrade three thermal power plants in Pakistan.

 U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Jack Lew called the road aid a tangible sign of the long-term partnership with Pakistan.

"We are pleased to work with the government of Pakistan to build roads and improve the security and livelihoods of the people of Pakistan," Lew said.

When Secretary of State Clinton launched the talks Wednesday she said the U.S. hoped to dispel what she called mistrust and misunderstandings in the U.S.-Pakistan relationship.

Pakistan Finance Minister, Salman Siddique, who attended the State Department signing ceremony with Lew, predicted the U.S. assistance would help change attitudes toward the U.S.

Public opinion in Pakistan toward the United States is highly negative. A Pew Research Center poll last year found 64-percent of Pakistanis considered the United States an enemy.

"I think it is time that the image of the United States in the eyes of the people of Pakistan improve and it can only do so through direct intervention," Saddique said. "And I don't think the people have any qualms on looking towards American help and American support in rebuilding their lives which are affected by the war on terror and going forward toward a more strategic relationship even in times of peace."

Last year, publicity about a $7.5-Billion dollar U.S. non-military aid package to Pakistan set off an uproar, with members of Parliament there claiming the assistance showed U.S. interference. It took weeks of U.S. reassurance to quiet that outcry.

Energy assistance will be a key element of U.S. aid, but the U.S. appears to have sidestepped Pakistan's request to develop of civilian nuclear trade agreement, similar to thwat the U.S. negotiated with India in 2008.

A joint statement released at the end of the talks included both strong U.S. praise for Pakistan's efforts to combat terrorism and what both sides expect in the future.

Secretary Clinton paid tribute to the courage and resolve of the people of Pakistan to eliminate terrorism and militancy. Both sides acknowledged the common threat that terrorism and extremism posed to global, regional and local security," the communiqué said.

"Pakistan expressed its appreciation for U.S. security assistance. Both governments committed to redouble their efforts to deal effectively with terrorism and to protect the common ideals and shared values of democracy, tolerance, openness and respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights," the communiqué added.

Outside analysts said the talks this week included both symbolism and substance.  Lisa Curtis, an expert on Pakistan at the Heritage Foundation, said the talks were symbolically important because they showed U.S. respect and US interest in upgrading the relationship with Pakistan.

"This was a good opportunity for the U.S. to demonstrate its long term interest in Pakistan and go beyond terrorism to a wide range of others issues, such as water, energy, and trade," Curtis told CNN.

She said there still remained gaps in how the two countries view various challenges including the war in Afghanistan,which Pakistan view as less important than their long tense rivalry with India.

"The U.S.-Pakistan relationship remains unresolved. This was an opportunity to close gaps and bring the two countries into greater alignment on the issues," Curtis said.

The next round of talks will be held in coming months in Afghanistan and Secretary Clinton already has promised to lead the U.S. delegation.

- From CNN Senior Producer Charley Keyes

Filed under: Pakistan
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Joe

    Wait, I think I get this now ....Is this a form of blackmail since A.Q. Khan was released from house arrest?

    April 28, 2010 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joe

    There are countless articles on the violence this week. And we never see this on the local News Media. And now we are going to feed Killers and Drug dealers?

    April 28, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Scott

    It make sense to invest to keep countries stable. Once they fall apart, costs much more in money and lives to put back together. And this particular country would be very dangerous to everyone if things went down the tubes. The cost of the war in iraq is about 200-400 million per DAY. This particular aid package is equivalent to about 2 to 4 hours of war. Looking back, it would've been better to have spent a 100 million a year for the last 30 years in Afghanistan to have created a stable country than what we have now.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:54 am | Report abuse |
  4. Mohammad A. Dar

    Like American tax payers, Pakistanis are being scammed on the name of terror. Wind fall for the President of Pakistan and the crooks . No Gas, No Power, No medicine and no food for the people. Well done Pakistanis, you deserve all of it , for not acting against the fraud, called War on terror. One side s rounded by the Bombs and other side side s rounded by the heroes of the war energized by the mighty dollar. This is what happens one does not stand up for the Truth.

    March 29, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Nawal

    Iam a pakistani but also live in the US like raj...and feel like giving money away to pakistan would be a good idea if the governent actually use it for the right reasons...i seriously believe that they wont do S*** with it but instead the government will just divide it amongst there own party's....just two weeks ago about half of pakistan was in a black out for 18 hours in the hot sun what kind of a government does that to its own people's? and as of the roads ppl in pakistan are already used to them... change doesnt happen overnight!

    March 29, 2010 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mona

    Raj.........thanx for being open and honest about your own country! It takes alot for you to do that and it is appreciated.

    March 29, 2010 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
  7. A. Smith, Oregon

    The horrific Republican led administration of Bush-Cheney gutted domestic funding for America's Infra-Structure for the previous EIGHT full years. Now Public Buildings, Public Schools, Fire Houses, Police Stations, Dams, Power plants, Freeways, Highways, Public Library's, Levees, Canals, Harbors and Electrical Grid are very dilapidated and in critical need of repair and in many cases total replacements.

    It's long past time to wind down BOTH Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and channel those enormous funds back into America's domestic spending.

    March 28, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Aginit

    More stupid waste of our money. Keep it at home and bring the troops home as well.

    March 28, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Hamza

    Giving us F-16 planes and navy vessels which are decades old and on retirement in US, you people give it to us, if you want to help, than give us latest weapons,latest technology, not the one which is out-dated and only require expensive spare parts to keep them running.
    and if you think giving around $100 million for all whats our army is doing, than thats really nothing, the army needs weapons, military planes,ammunition and alot more things.
    Plus get Afghan border fenced and guarded from afghan side, you would see the results, as militants come from that end and run back. So fence it all and stop militants entering our country

    March 28, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Hamza

    $40 milliion for roads which are to be used for transporting NATO supplies to Afghanistan,its nothing in the interest of Pakistan. If the US is really keen to help, than help us build dams to get us rid of electricity shortfalls,If you are here to help, than give us markert access to USA for products made in Pakistan instead of putting in duties out of no reason.
    Pakistanis dont need aid, just put off the duties on our products and see how we prosper in international market.

    March 28, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dan Lafayette,IN

    You are correct #39 we do need to show the people in these Muslim countries that we are not just there to kill other Muslims. We need to show them that we are concerned about their future but I do disagree that the radical Muslims would not have taken power in Afghanistan if we just help them to rebuild their country. No these radical extremists would still be blowing themselves up along with many others. They want to live in the six century and have laws that are against the human rights of their people. The Taliban are a terrorist organization which you probably agree but their religious beliefs do not care for the individual persons. They think if you punish and kill the sinners in society then the society will become a more godly society one that God would be very proud of but the fact is that God loves all people even those who sin! What HE asks of us is that we turn away from sin and repent. But he says that we should forgive people seventy x seven times if they should ask for forgiveness. Never does he want anybody to be killed for their sins! HE believes that all men and women can be saved through the Holy Spirit that only comes to one by the faith in Jesus HIS son who died on the cross for everybody's sins! This is the only way for a society to become godly. Never will it become godly by killing people!

    March 28, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mohammad A. Dar

    Ha, all you complaining about corrupt elites in Pakistan, not elites in serving their own people, but in theft of resources of the poor and sell out. If they were not corrupt, US would have never been able to invade Afghanistan. Free use of Pakistan infrastructure, Military bases, trained person ell, criminal Kidnapping of Pakistani citizens by the Pakistan and United States and murder on suspicion, of their own citizen. List is long. Quit complaining, US and They are brother in arm. not the people of Pakistan. Mercenary always cost wealth. Pay them or they will go for the higher bidder. Long live USA. Flag carrier of Freedom or head of Ma. opps.

    March 27, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Maritta

    I don't understand why we're giving Pakistan anything. They have nothing to fight the Taliban for many many years, and they really haven't done anything except "look the other way" when we get proactive on the border. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that we're getting nothing for our money!

    March 27, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Daniel-is-an-Idiot-X2

    Most of you are not seeing the bigger picture. This is exactly what needs to be done, both in Pakistan, Iraq and in Afghanistan in order to get our troops home for good. Once the nutjobs like the Taliban and Al-Queda are gone from an area the only way to keep them gone and get our troops home is to rebuild the areas and make them safe. Give them roads, running water, electricity, schools, medical care, food. Help them to help themselves. Give their children an opportunity for a better life and they will fight to keep that. Give them nothing and they will hate us for generations to come. All they see of us is our coming in with a big stick and blowing the crap out of everything and then leaving again. It's all we do. We wage war brilliantly but can't wage peace for s**t because no one wants to spend the money on it. We are idiots. If we had done what Charlie Wilson had wanted to do in Afghanistan after the Soviets were driven out (everything I ssaid above) none of this would be happening now.Neither Al Queda or the Taliban would never have gained a foothold in Afghanistan.

    March 26, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. A. Smith, Oregon

    Ten's of Millions of freshly minted taxpayer donated 100 dollar bills are routinely handed out to Afghanistan clans and various corrupt individuals EVERY MONTH as bribes by the US Military officers.

    While America has been building over 700 bases across Afghanistan at extremely high construction costs, America's own infra-structure is beyond mere repairs, many roads, dams, bridges, canals, levees, harbors, public schools, library's are severely dilapidated from the drained funding during the horrific Republican Bush-Cheney administration.

    America badly needs its OWN infra-structure repaired, replaced and upgraded. America needs vast numbers of construction jobs after the horrific Republican administration drained well over 8 million jobs out of America and took them and that money overseas.

    March 26, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Mohammad A. Dar

    It is not aid or a charity. It is part of the bill due for the aid, Pakistan has provided to USA..

    March 26, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Tampa

    What a shame.. Wasting my tax dollars on terrorists... we trained Taliban before for driving out soviets from Afghanistan and we seen the consequence … We are trying to partner again with Taliban and Pakistan AGAINnnnnnnn, and who knows what will they do next… I am not voting for democratic party in next election ….

    March 26, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  18. john d

    40 mil here 51 mil there, when is it going to end, just get the hell out

    March 26, 2010 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  19. Fahd Khan

    The ties can only get better if industry is been taken care of fully. Sending dollars as charity will not solve the problems of pakistan.

    March 26, 2010 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  20. aman amin

    be sure that this money will go there not raods and power pant, but to train more taliban and more weapons for them.

    March 26, 2010 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  21. It does not stop

    Another payoff to a general, not for road... pleeeeease don't insult our inteligence. $40,000,000 for roads.... sure... ah ha... right on. I am sure 100% will be spent on a road.... 99.99% of which goes to pay off a corrupt politician. Our government never learns. What total rubes we are.

    March 26, 2010 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
  22. haider

    US must make sure that the money given is actually spent where it should be spent. Only then can it really help in effecting the lives of ordinary pakistanis which will ultimately help improve US image among the ordinary pakistanis. US must understand that Pakistani Government quarters are well known for corrupt practices, the transparency international ratings point to that fact clearly.

    March 26, 2010 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
  23. Another Handout

    WTF! We are in a dire financial situation as a nation and for many individuals and families, and we are giving Pakistan yet another handout?!? I have been voting against all incumbents in elections for the past decade, and encourage others to do so. Wasting my tax dollars is nothing short of criminal, and I do not see how anyone can justify sending Pakistan another dime for anything given their unwillingness to help us at all levels. Time to call them yet another bad investment and cut them loose.

    March 26, 2010 at 5:43 am | Report abuse |
  24. Shane

    I think some folks in Washington really need to have a hard look at the MONEY that is being thrown away. In total we are taling about 1.1 Trillon Dollars over the 3 programs for Pakistan.

    I already ask you this. What good is this really going to do? The economy in the USA needs to get fixed! So by this foreign spending package that the Democrats have yet come up with again, we are fixing another country without fixing our own.

    How in the heck can Washington justify spending another 1.1 Trillion Dollars on another country, when they have not even fixed the problems we have here.

    I have laready read the articles about the activists vandalizing the DNC Offices and the RNC Offices. Have our so-called representatives not gotten the hint that the common middle class public is nearly ready for war over the uncontrolled spending?

    Holy Cow folks!

    Washington just doesn't get it.

    Well I guess those Tea Party folks are closer to correct than I thought they were.

    Come on Washington! No more spending our Taxpayer's Money on programs and countries that don't deserve it! That includes Haiti!

    Washington Porkers!

    March 26, 2010 at 5:09 am | Report abuse |
  25. Rick Indiana

    So we fix up their country and sit back ours slowly falling apart. Makes sense to me.

    March 26, 2010 at 4:59 am | Report abuse |
  26. Rajesh

    What could be USA's hidden agenda for pakistan. Pakistan rulers are just milking USA for money and USA is just giving. but money cant buy fundamentalism in pakistan. no idea where this dollar funded pakistan will go from here

    March 26, 2010 at 4:27 am | Report abuse |
  27. kk

    US is a fool.

    all the money given to pakistan is used for training of terrorists and buying wepons which again used againsts US soldeirs.

    US giving just tax payers moeny for training terrorists.

    shame on US and save US

    March 26, 2010 at 4:16 am | Report abuse |
  28. ronny

    Spending money where it doesn't matter...what a joke. That's our money people, wake up.

    March 26, 2010 at 3:02 am | Report abuse |
  29. Hashmi

    Ahhh ... Peanuts !!

    March 26, 2010 at 1:54 am | Report abuse |
  30. As

    I hope that this aid will really be used for roads and power plants. I hope that US wont make again the same mistakes as it did by building taliban power against Soviets. There is very thin line in that frontier and US's so called stratigists often forget about that.

    March 26, 2010 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  31. Raj

    I am a Pakistani but live in US. Pakistan has a corrupt infrastructure. Corruption has been rooted in to every level of public or private sector. Bribes are considered legitimate transactions; without them nothing is done. Pakistan has received tons of aid over the years and continues to receive but by the time the money is utilized for real projects, it disappears among few hands. I am sad to see this money going to Pakistan because 90% of it will never be utilized for roads but will disappear among different parties as kickback; not just this money but any grant. I wish West open their eyes and have checks and balances placed before helping a corrupt country like Pakistan. Now Pakistan has a new business: 'How to make money in the name of terrorism'. Very sad and unfortunate for the people of Pakistan.

    March 26, 2010 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
  32. Pat

    gee, I'm glad that our government isn't trillions of dollars in debt and our economy in the crapper. Otherwise this "gift" of millions of our hard earned tax dollars might bother me. All of those idiots in Washington Republican and Democrat alike should be fired and term limits placed so we don't have the same morons serving in officer for decades. We obviously can't rely on people to vote them out because our citizens are too disillusioned with the system to bother....again IDIOTS

    March 26, 2010 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  33. Daniel

    I see that with these right-wing thugs in Washington,Pakistan comes first and to you know where with our elderly.While many of our elderly stand to lose medicare benefits through the current health care reform bill,these same thugs most gladly give that money to Pakistan,showing their priorities.

    March 26, 2010 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  34. fallen

    We continue to give money away....when is the United States government going to realize that we cannot spend our way out of debt? A political tool? Yes, but at what expense> We are already so over our head in debt that this country will not recover. When is this going to stop?

    March 25, 2010 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Nirmal Mandal

    Smart way to make money

    March 25, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Blue

    Good its only fair we fix what we destroy.

    March 25, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Lucy, Minneapolis, MN

    Glad to see Obama keep his spending spree going. Is this our money, or his money to spend? Geez.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Khan

    $40 million for roads? yeah that will build a cross country network of roads and the country will leap frog into new age. $40 will build 5 km of road Wow.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  39. DIX

    Before any money is given first prosecute the scientist who gave the North Koreans and Iran the ability to build A bombs. Can America really be this stupid

    March 25, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  40. US Citizen

    USA has given millions of dollars for past many years to Pakistan for aid or other reasons to improve the country, once the money is in Pakistan's hand, who controls it? Pakistan is the same country that was years ago, the dollars given to Pakistan has not gone to improve the country, but to improve terrorism tactics against USA and India. Lets all wake up and put an end to the dollars being sent to Pakistan.

    March 25, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  41. E.Hamid

    More GOOD MONEY after BAD! Please, please, STOP giving TAX PAYERS MONEY AWAY. Charity starts at home. We need the CASH to take care of our own problems. Tell Pakistan to stop squandering their money on nuclear that they absolutely DO NOT need and use such to repair their own roads. Our USA Roads need repairs, so let use the cash to do so.

    March 25, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  42. guest

    I'm tired of the U.S giving many away to other countries that are going to back stab us like others did in the past. I guess were never going to learn. That money should be spent in the states to create jobs.

    March 25, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Jerome

    Your tax dollars at work...

    March 25, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Dawn

    Pres. Obama – How about fixing our roads & bridges??? How about a few new power plants here in the good ol USA?? When is our government going to learn you can't make friends with money. As soon as we stop with the money they will be our enemy again. I voted for Obama, but this has me boiling mad. It's OUR money,you num-skulls. Money we need at home.

    March 25, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Hank R

    This country is beyond broke but we can give money to Pakistan? We need to worry about ourselves before helping others.

    March 25, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  46. anjaan

    this jus doesnt seem right

    March 25, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Shelly

    WTF! Wow, do I really have to comment or can my feelings towards this just be assumed?

    March 25, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Letizia

    When will they fix our roads? Sometimes I feel a Hummer is the only alternative to riding the potholes in this country.

    March 25, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Phil

    this is pure BS: Keep that money in the USA and fix our own roads. they do not appreciate anyway. Time for this govt to grow up take care of America FIRST and the heck with the rest of the world

    March 25, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Dan Lafayette,IN

    We shouldn't give Pakistan any more assistance until the ISI gives us information to the whereabouts of bin Laden, al Zawahiri and Omar the leader of the terrorist group called the Taliban! And yes when you kill and mutilate people in public it is called terrorism! If you want to be a legitimate government then you treat the people good and not do evil things to them!

    March 25, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |