Thursday, April 09, 2009
After watching the U.S. government dole out hundreds of billions of dollars to mismanaged corporations and risk-taking Wall Streeters, Pakistan's envoy to the U.S. said Washington should re-think its priorities — and send some of that money his way.
A Reuters report quoted Ambassador Husain Haqqani telling a Washington think tank Thursday that Pakistan would be a more deserving recipient of the bailout cash than American companies.
"A company at the verge of failure is quite clearly able to get a bigger bailout than a nation that has been accused of failure," Haqqani said. "That's something that in this town needs a review."
Haqqani said investments in Pakistan's schools and infrastructure to help battle Al Qaeda and home-grown terrorists would be worth the money, Reuters reported.
Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan, where the U.S. is re-focusing efforts to fight the resurging Taliban and terrorism, deserve more than "some failed insurance company or some car company whose achievement is that they couldn't make cars that they could sell," he said, though he didn't name specific companies, Reuters reported.
The U.S. government has dished out hundreds of billions in bailout cash — through the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program and other programs — to the likes of Citigroup and Bank of America, insurer AIG and floundering automakers General Motors and Chrysler.
Obama has promised Pakistan $7.5 billion over five years to shore up anti-terror efforts, and Reuters reported that Haqqani said Pakistan will ask for its own "Marshall Plan" — up to $30 billion in aid from its allies at the "Friends of Pakistan" meeting in Tokyo on April 17.