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US aid effort under fire in Pakistan border area

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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-09 10:04 AM
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US aid effort under fire in Pakistan border area
Source: AP

By Stephen Graham

ISLAMABAD (AP) A major U.S. effort to erode support for the Taliban and al-Qaida by pumping millions of aid dollars into the violence-wracked Afghan border region is being threatened by attacks on aid workers, corruption and layers of bureaucracy.

The Obama administration has pledged to use development aid as a foreign policy tool, and is expected to unveil a new hike in assistance before April. But there are concerns about how the money is being spent in remote valleys too dangerous for foreign aid workers to venture and where residents risk a beheading if they cross the militants. A Taliban commander in the North Waziristan border region warned residents last month to shun the "sweet poison" of development aid. "Wait for the consequences, if anybody accepts anything," Gul Bahadur warned in a leaflet.

Three years after the Bush administration pledged $750 million for the impoverished tribal belt, people associated with the effort told The Associated Press that a clutch of education and road-building projects are finally getting under way.

Washington has cloaked its efforts in secrecy, foregoing an opportunity to show off a kinder American face in order to protect its staff and contractors.

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  - duplicate topic  maddezmom   Feb-28-09 10:06 AM   #1 
maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-09 10:06 AM
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