Referring to year 2011 as a difficult and complex phase in US-Pakistan relationship, which would qualify as the understatement of the year, State Department’s spokesperson, Victoria Nuland had this to add “Obviously, what we want to do is turn the page, redouble our efforts to cooperate against the threats that we share and to support a strong, prosperous, democratic Pakistan in an increasingly stable, peaceful, prosperous, democratic region.” All nice words and if one-thousandth of it were true, things could be lot better between the two countries. Her intention to ‘redouble’ the efforts to cooperate, would perhaps imply that all along, they had been cooperating with us all right and that Raymond Davis affairs, unilateral operation to kill Osama bin Laden and the latest deliberate killing of our soldiers all fell within the realm of ‘cooperation’, only that in our ignorance, we could not see it that way.

She went on to say “We put a huge amount of US taxpayer money every year into education programmes in Pakistan, microlending programmes, flood relief, all kinds of economic opportunity programmes, because we believe a strong Pakistan is in our interests. She refers to a dollar thrown here and another there as ‘huge amount of US taxpayers’ money.’ The fact is that over the years, the total amount received by us as US aid amounts to approximately $ 60 billion, whereas our losses so far because of associating with the US are about $ 68 billion, which leaves us $ 8 billion in deficit. Death of 30,000 civilians and 5,000 soldiers comes on top of that. And then there is this holding back of funds promised under Kerry-Lugar bill, abandonment of reconstruction opportunity zones, refusal to reimburse expenses incurred by Pakistan under coalition support programme, and putting fresh restrictions on disbursement of aid to Pakistan, all manifestations of Americans overflowing goodwill towards us, of course.

The fact is that these are the American imperial adventures like Iraq invasion, which must have cost at least $ one trillion, and ambition to control the world which are the primary causes of huge amount of US taxpayers’ money going down the drain. After all, with no military challenges of any significance, it is only US that maintains eleven aircraft carriers and hundreds of military bases all over the world, and can’t even see the stupidity of it all. I do not expect Americans to be hundred percent truthful but at least they should not tell such blatant lies, because they fool no one.

S.R.H. HASHMI, Karachi,

December 31