Awami National Party’s Position on the Kerry-Lugar
Bill-"Enhanced Partnership with pakistan Act 2009"
Awami National Party has always stood for independent foreign policy. It has
been consistently opposed to becoming part of any military alliances to fight
proxy wars and allow the country to be used as a front line state.
Pakistan’s present predicament is because of the past flawed policies
particularly those adopted during Musharraf’s regime turning the country into a
security state. The duplicity of policies during the period seriously undermined
the sovereignty and integrity of the country. Moreover, it was these policies
that made the country vulnerable to internal and external security threats; open
to undue demands due to widening gap and a trust deficit.
The democratic government is faced with a myriad of challenges vis-à-vis
institution building, strengthening of the economy and improving the overall
deteriorating security situation. To bridge the widening gap internally and
externally the government is working to attain economic sustainability and
The current debate in the country on the Kerry-Lugar Bill has seen extreme
partisan positions aiming at points scoring and political capitalization.
However, the Awami National Party after internal debate and discussion has
outlined the following rational, dispassionate and objective evaluation of the
1- In a major shift in US policy towards counter insurgency, the Obama
administration has realized that it requires a long-term balanced, integrated
country wide strategy for Pakistan that provides assistance throughout the
country and does not disproportionately focus on security related assistance or
on a particular province;
2- That Pakistan is a critical friend and ally to the United States, both
in times of strife and peace and the two countries share many common goals,
including combating terrorism, violent radicalism and strengthening of democracy
and rule of law;
3- The US administration has realized that without democracy, economic
prosperity and efficient local civil armed forces, it will not be possible to
defeat terrorism and armed insurgency. It has therefore, recognized the need for
extending unconditional support to strengthening the democratic institutions in
Pakistan and investing in Human Development and improved infrastructure
including healthcare, education, water management and energy generation.
4-The Bill makes particular mention to the development and support of
legal and political reforms in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA),
rehabilitation and sustainable development of areas affected by counter
5- While no amount has been allocated for military assistance in the Bill,
the Party is concerned with the limitations placed on the conduct of the
government and the armed forces in the Bill requiring a series of certifications
by the Secretary of State. This has made the intention of the non military
assistance and the Bills policy statement unnecessarily controversial-creating
tensions among key institutions of the country at a time when the nascent
democracy in the country is faced with many social, economic and security
challenges. It has also overshadowed the US intention of building a lasting
relationship with the people of the country;
6- The unilateral and arbitrary language used in the Bill is objectionable
and tantamount to interference in the country’s internal affairs and devoid of
respect for the sovereignty of the country. Particularly the blanket provisions
for providing access to people accused of nuclear proliferation and promotions
of military cadres in micromanagement of the internal affairs of the country
which is unacceptable and undesirable.
Thus the Awami National Party does not see any significant point of
concern or reservation in Title 1 of the Bill except for the possibility of
diverting the share of financial assistance away from Pakhtunkhwa and FATA which
have been hardest hit by insurgency and terrorism. However, the Party cannot
accept the limitations and certification clauses and call on the Federal
Government and US to renegotiate the terms and conditions of the Bill to
properly reflect the aspirations of the people of Pakistan and mutual respect
for independence and sovereignty of the two countries.
However, the Party calls for uninterrupted flow of non military assistance
specified in the Bill while limitations and certifications are being negotiated.