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Report: U.S. Aid Funding the Pakistani Taliban

11:30 AM, Feb 24, 2009 • By BILL ROGGIO
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As one of the conditions to ending the fighting in Swat, Taliban chieftain Mullah Fazlullah has demanded the government pay reparations to the Taliban. And the guy who is footing the bill? The U.S. taxpayer, according to Pakistani reporter and Taliban expert Syed Saleem Shahzad. At least $6 million has been paid to the Taliban and more is on the way.

"The amount has been paid through a backchannel, " a senior security official told AKI on condition of anonymity.

"It is compensation for those who were killed during military operations and compensation for the properties destroyed by the security forces. In fact, negotiations for this package were finalised well before Maulana Sufi Mohammad signed a peace deal."

The security official said the amount was delivered from a special fund of president Asif Ari Zardari. All the tribal areas come under the president's jurisdiction and a special aid package, including a donation from the US, was designated for the tribal area by the president's office and distributed through the governor's office in the North West Frontier Province.

"Some other smaller amounts are also under negotiation which shall also be delivered soon," the official confirmed.

Not only is the United States paying the Pakistani government to abdicate territory to the Taliban, we get to fund the Taliban as well.

Senators John Kerry and Richard Lugar are pushing yet another aid package for Pakistan. The Kerry-Lugar bill is expected to triple military aid to Pakistan to $1.5 billion. It's time for the U.S. government to ask if it is getting a good return on its investment. Considering that more than $3.8 billion of $5 billion of U.S. aide to Pakistan has gone unaccounted for and the Taliban is being funded by the United States, perhaps the answer is no.