US military aid suspension may harm Pak's civilian govt more than army: Analysts
Islamabad, July 12(ANI): The suspension of US military aid could harm Pakistan's civilian government more than the military, and might also have a harmful impact on the country's democracy, according to analysts.
"The Army will dig in its heels. It's going to call up the Finance Ministry and ask them to cut a check, and they will cut them a check, which will be financed by the State Bank or loans from private sector," The Christian Science Monitor quoted Cyril Almeida, a political analyst and senior journalist, as saying.
"Perversely, at the very time US aid is flowing, this will guarantee that things will deteriorate more [for the economy]," Almeida added.
The cuts could also have a harmful impact on Pakistan's democracy, said Ayesha Siddiqa, a military analyst and author of "Military Inc,".
"Historically, [foreign aid] is one of the reasons why political governments have been tolerated [by the military] in the first place. If they are not bringing in money, then why have them?" she questioned.
Popular opinion in Pakistan is overwhelmingly in favour of less US involvement in the region, and the Army may now be tempted to reassess its key partnerships, according to Saeed Shafqat, Director of the Centre for Public Policy and Governance at the Foreman Christian College University in Lahore.
But Almeida warned that a further deterioration in ties with the US could leave Pakistan increasingly isolated on the world stage, given that it has not ramped up strategic cooperation with China or the Gulf states and the peace process with India remains slow.
"If at some point the Pakistan Army thought the US was no friend to Pakistan, it should have cultivated new friends in the mean time," he said. (ANI)
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