Double standards eh?

The Pakistani president had accused the West of adopting double standards claiming their donations were not enough. Understandably so: The UN had appealed to the international community to meet the donation target of $550 million dollars; Only $132.4 million has been received so far. Meanwhile, there was uncertainity looming over the $2 billion F-16 deal with the US. To the relief of both the domestic and the internation community, the president had said:

“I am going to postpone that… we want to bring maximum relief and reconstruction efforts”
Source: BBC

But American loss was Swedish gain. While the media was busy following Pakistani plans regarding F-16s, another deal was progressing undetected:

Pakistan is finalising a $ 1 billion defence deal with a Swedish firm for delivery of Airborne Early Warning surveillance system. According to a report in the latest issue of ‘Janes Defence Weekly’, Pakistan, which is struggling to provide aid to survivors in all of its quake-hit areas, moved a step closer to adopting a Saab-Ericcson AEW system after signing a provisional contract, which envisages replacing of F-27 Fokker planes from the Pakistan Air Force.

This was announced by the Swedish company on October 18, 10 days after the killer quake struck Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, the weekly said. The deal was believed to be for seven aircraft but a final step had to be taken as the company was going to seek a final nod from the US.
Source: Rediff

I understand the distinction between airborne early warning systems and fighter aircraft. But the matter is not about the kind of aircraft, it’s about the money involved. $1 billion deal, when the Pakistanis are blaming the international community of double standards for falling short of the $550 million target. I think the president needs to have a reality check.

I do agree with the fact that the security needs of the country and rehabilitation measures are two separate things. However, prioritizing is the need of the hour. I remember the newscast, where Musharraf had made an appeal for helicopters — lots of them. Wouldn’t it be logical to procure more choppers than AEWs at this hour?

I’m not sure what’s in the mind of the military government. But it doesn’t feel right to blame others for not giving money, when you yourself are not managing your own money sensibly.

technorati tags: Pakistan, Musharraf, F-27 Fokker, AEW, Earthquake

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