August 16, 2010

Collective Punishment for Corruption and Terrorism in Pakistan?

An article in the Financial Times this morning intimated that perceptions of both government corruption and support for militant groups are causing international donors to keep their pocketbooks closed in supporting victims of the floods in Pakistan. I do not know enough to say one way or another, and the UN humanitarian aid chief, John Holmes, says it's too early to tell. But the statistics so far are interesting. The United States and the United Kingdom have pledged the most aid thus far to Pakistan: $76m and $32m, respectively. But the earthquake in Haiti generated $1b in pledges within 10 days. Pledges by the international community to areas affected by the 2004 tsunami were similarly robust (~$7b). Are the people of Pakistan now suffering because of the corruption of their leaders, real and perceived, and the support, real and perceived, given by the Pakistani military and intelligence services to militant groups?