Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pakistan spends UK’s £650million aid on nuclear missiles


You might think that a country in receipt of billions in aid would voluntarily subject itself to a degree of austerity. The UK donates £650million of its overseas aid budget to Pakistan (more here) in order to feed the starving, house the homeless, heal the sick and educate the children (of whom 17 million are not in school). We do this because it is the moral thing to do, not to say the Christian thing to do. His Grace has long argued (contra many Conservatives) that overseas aid is not simply a question of political economics but of moral justice. Charity does not begin at home: it is the plainest teaching of the New Testament that it begins with one’s neighbour (eg Lk 10:27-37). And throughout the Old Testament, we are exhorted certainly to look after our own widows and orphans, but these are rarely divorced from the divine command to show compassion to the ‘alien’ or ‘stranger’ (ie foreigner), which the Jews considered a moral duty (eg Deut 10:18f cf Mt 25:44).
But in a time of austerity at home, it is difficult to persuade British taxpayers that hundreds of millions of pounds in aid money should go to a country suffering from delusions of nuclear phallic grandeur. The Pakistani government may be weak and unstable, but the waste and extravagance are self-evident. The Pakistani military seeks to upgrade its intermediate-range ballistic missiles as a deterrent. These missiles are capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. Is the British taxpayer subsidising an imminent strike against Pakistan’s arch-enemy? Where else might be the target for nuclear-tipped missiles with a range of c1,500 miles? Targeting Iran might help kill two Shi’as with one stone, but we all know that Pakistan has India within its sights. Perhaps we ought to note that Pakistan's missile arsenal includes short, medium and long-range missiles, all named after Muslim conquerors.
Why are we contributing £650million per annum to a country beset by chronic political instability, and which sacrifices goats to nukes named Saladin, Suleiman and Babur? Islamabad is besieged by the Taliban and threatened by al-Qaeda, and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons might one day be compromised. Indeed, it is highly probable that strategic nuclear assets could be obtained by terrorists or used by rogue elements in the Pakistani government.
Pakistan continues to produce fissile material for weapons and is manifestly augmenting its weapons production facilities. The country has signed neither the UN nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty nor the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. However, UN Security Council Resolution 1172, which was adopted in 1998 after India and Pakistan’s nuclear tests earlier that year, called upon both countries to ‘stop their nuclear weapon development programmes, to refrain from weaponization or from the deployment of nuclear weapons, to cease development of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and any further production of fissile material for nuclear weapons’.

Obviously, that resolution is being ignored. The FCO has argued that ‘Pakistan’s strategic posture, including nuclear, is clearly framed around its perception of the threat from India’. But this cannot justify the possession of c90-110 nuclear weapons and the development of more advanced warheads and delivery systems while its own people are begging in the streets, homeless, starving and illiterate. Given the expanding threat of Pakistan’s domestic insurgency, the further development of nuclear materials appears to be inconsistent with its immediate security threats, and is manifestly unhelpful in the context of efforts to ameliorate the plight of the poor.

Perhaps if HM Government were to reduce aid to those countries which spend it on arms proliferation as it does to those who persecute homosexuals, we might move closer towards an ethical foreign policy. Why should Overseas Aid be contingent on international gay rights but not on averting imminent nuclear holocaust?

37 Comments:

Blogger bluedog said...

'Is the British taxpayer subsidising an imminent strike against Pakistan’s arch-enemy?'

Indeed, Your Grace. And as you infer, there is no guarantee that India is the arch-enemy. After all, exactly what percentage of a nation's population must be Muslim in order to secure immunity from a Muslim nuclear holocaust? If a Muslim population is any guarantee of immunity, with 150 million Muslims, India would appear to be safe. With a mere three million Muslims, and a reputation as a Crusader state, the UK may be at risk from an enhanced Pakistani strike capacity.

Dave's energies are rightly focussed on the Murdoch media scandal, which is predictably bringing the political equivalent of a nuclear winter to his career. However, Dave should seek advice from the Conservative Party chairman Baroness Warsi on the prospects of a Pakistani attack on the UK. The queation is, how many Muslims do we need before we are safe?

The Baroness should be watched with hawk-like intensity. If there were to be a crisis between the West and Pakistan for any reason, the departure of the Baroness and her extended family for her homeland would be a warning sign of the utmost importance.

25 April 2012 at 10:59  
Blogger Jon said...

I agree with you, Your Grace, but I'm disappointed that you crow-barred in a reference to the gays at the end. I suppose you do it because a man with no followers is just a guy, taking a walk? But I can almost hear the trolls rattling their cages. Not like the nice piece about Wilders yesterday which passed quietly by?

Pakistan isn't a great place to be if you're gay, though, so maybe you're onto something. Stonewall with its 60 staff can always lend you some real muscle if the £5.2bn lobbyist/ private equity fund/ legislative juggernaut that is the Church of England is short of ideas and money...

25 April 2012 at 11:29  
Blogger Sam Vega said...

Yes, seems quite straightforward, a parallel to the Socratic point about the justice of repaying our debts. It is good and just to help those who are poor. Except if they are going to use that help, albeit indirectly, to harm others.

I propose using the £650m savings to raise the living standards of poor Muslims in the Bradford West constituency. Surely nobody could object to that, especially if many of them were able to buy better houses elsewhere, and disperse around the country...

25 April 2012 at 11:57  
Blogger Marcus Foxall said...

Disappointingly unoriginal. This topic has been done to death , long ago.

25 April 2012 at 12:30  
Blogger Hereward said...

Let's not kid ourselves that international aid was given primarily for the Pakistani poor. It's a sham display of concern, the political equivalent of buying lottery tickets with the pretence of helping good causes. This was done to appease a crumbling nation of dubious probity in the hope that the hand that feeds will not be bitten. We have tried to buy peace but the results are nuclear proliferation on the sub-continent and terrorist plotting at home.

25 April 2012 at 13:07  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
A country that demonstrates such dismisives for it's poor and it's rich pay little tax, must be taken to account when providing aid. As I understand it the aid is paid through 'fat cat' agencies who then pay other agencies and if the poor are lucky, eventually a few crumbs get through.

I have bno experience of Pakistan but two girls from our church went to work in a Christian orphanage in eastern India and there, the only financial aid came from direct gifts from supporting churches. The situation is similar in a village in Ghana that my son supports.

It is my opinion that a lot of the middle men should be cut out and aid got directly to the needy. I know some will say there has to be checks in place but not to the cost of 80% of the orriginal aid.

Further, if the Government of the country is spending on the unnecessary, commercial sanctions should be applied to bring pressure on wealthier elements to recognise their responsibility towards the poor.

25 April 2012 at 13:39  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

25 April 2012 at 13:43  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

The only way to prevent a country from getting nuclear weapons is physical interdiction. The country's leadership isn't going to care about the aid money you provide. So give the money or not, but don't think the removal of aid will accomplish anything in the way of non-proliferation.

carl

25 April 2012 at 14:08  
Blogger Oswin said...

Marcus Foxall @ 12:30 : ''Disappointingly unoriginal. This topic has been done to death, long ago.''

This site is about religion and politics, and NOT nanotechnology; so just what do you expect? Should an issue only be touched-upon once?

The growing instability within Pakistan, and the increasing austerity here, at home, surely make pertinent further examination of present circumstances, yes?

25 April 2012 at 14:46  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

WHat do you expect of a country founded on religious principles?
Peace & Love?
Do grow up.

25 April 2012 at 15:32  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

There is nothing charitable or Christian about extracting money from people by force in order to give it to others.

25 April 2012 at 15:55  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

I say Archbishop, not so loud, you’ll blow the gaff ! Come a bit closer old man, a word in your shell-like. That 650 Million, it’s down as [AHEM] ‘Foreign Aid’ but we had to call it something you know. It’s a damn bribe of course, everyone in the know realises that. It’s what it costs to keep the Pakis on side. Of course it could be spent on their wretched people but what’s the bloody point in wasting it, as they would argue. They could go to the moon on it for all we care, but we need these damn people to at least put up a token resistance to radical Islam. It lets our chaps and the yanks in to do our business…

The Inspector has been on the phone to ‘M’ about you. We think you could do with a complete briefing of the situation so get yourself over to the usual hotel and await contact by an MI6 officer ( as a ruse, he’ll be bearing a collection of women’s clothes). Oh, by the way, ‘M’ asks if you could bring a sports holdall with you. God knows why, don’t fully understand the fellow myself sometimes. Anyway, cheery bye, be seeing you…

25 April 2012 at 17:34  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Phew, I was worried for a while there but I can rest now that I've spotted the near obligatory reference to sexual orientation at the end. Hurrah! I'd have liked to see something about same-sex marriage in there too but I suppose it's a pretty tall order when talking about somewhere like Pakistan.

25 April 2012 at 17:43  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

I

Hmmm. That’s two homosexuals the Archbishop has fished up today. Cunning fellow, everybody else uses a lobster pot and some rotting mackerel...

25 April 2012 at 17:49  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Ah, you have it back to front. The gay references are the bait to attract Christians with an special interest in the sex lives of others. We're just the people who provide the arguing back service on demand.

25 April 2012 at 18:02  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Patience DanJ0, you will be the centre of attention again. Just not tonight, eh.

25 April 2012 at 18:13  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

One for DanJ0 and Jon

Two homosexuals were chatting when one of them happened to
mention that he had gotten circumcised last week.
"Can I see it?" asked the second gay homosexual, so he promptly
dropped his pants to show off his penis.
"Oooh," squealed his friend, "You look ten years younger!"

25 April 2012 at 18:15  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

25 April 2012 at 18:16  
Blogger Atlas Shrugged said...

Charity, under certain highly restraining criteria can be a good and worthwhile activity.

I give to many charitable causes, but only under certain conditions.

I must know that all of those involved in the charity are working completely free of any payment whatsoever including expenses.

This obviously restricts my giving to very local enterprises. So local in fact, that my most popular local charity is called, The Properly Educating, and Feeding My Own Children Foundation.

Although my local Hospitals, and Hospices don't come out of it too bad.

Government aid is quite a different story, none of which good.

After at least 400 years of western interference in Sub Saharan Africa, it is difficult to imagine how the lot of the average African could possibly be worse if the European man had never existed, or set foot on the Continent.

One thing is for certain there certainly would not be any kind of explosives, AK47's or M16's anywhere near the place.

Therefore, no African mass starvation, wars lasting more then a few hours, or central government sponsored tyranny, oppression, or exploitation at the point of a gun.

All many of Africa's people have to show for there 400 year involvement with outside influences, is a cheep, worn out pair of Chinese trainers and a 3rd hand T-shirt from the Oxfam truck.

Which too me seems like a very high price to pay for not very much.

Left to their own devices and wits Africans in common with most people existing in the 3rd world are much better at looking after themselves then the vast majority of British people are.

Africans survived and flourished for thousands of years, before Europeans arrived on their horizons. However The British people would start eating each other within two weeks, if all the super markets permanently closed.

With 'friends' like that of the out-side world, Africans don't need any more enemies.

25 April 2012 at 18:22  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector, Dodo, this story is obviously more palatable than the story highlighted in red on the front page of the Guardian site at the moment. ;)

25 April 2012 at 18:32  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Atlas. You’re missing out, you know, not being in daily contact with those beautiful people. How about a farm in Rhodesia for you ? Don't worry, no racial prejudice or tribal conflicts. You’ll love it !

25 April 2012 at 18:52  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Gentlemen. Just seen a party political five minutes from UKIP. Inspector impressed ! Polished or what. Ladies, the Inspector doubts you have any understanding of politics, but that Farage chappie is a handsome man, so he must be well worth your vote. Don't forget girls, mention it at your coffee mornings...

25 April 2012 at 19:12  
Blogger len said...

The fact that Osama bin Laden was found living right next door to a military base in Pakistan ( apparently unnoticed) should be enough to give concern to anyone within firing range of their nuclear missiles!.

Perhaps material aid should be sent to Pakistan rather than cash?

25 April 2012 at 19:13  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0

Excellent news reported by the Guardian - well spotted. And for all youatheists and secularists, read the following:

"Schools with a religious character are allowed to teach sex and relationships – and conduct assemblies – in accordance with the religious views of the school. The Catholic view of marriage is not a political view; it's a religious view."

Hear, hear and let's hope Anglican organisations follow the example of Rome!

25 April 2012 at 19:22  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Dr Cranmer asked ...
"Why should Overseas Aid be contingent on international gay rights but not on averting imminent nuclear holocaust?"

If I may do a len here, maybe by promoting international homosexual rights we are inviting nuclear holocaust.

"As Sodom and Gomorrha, and the neighbouring cities, in like manner, having given themselves to fornication, and going after other flesh, were made an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire."
(Jude 1:7)

25 April 2012 at 19:32  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Atlas

I'm opposed to government aid given as cash with strings attached.

I agree, charity is the better route and would recommend the main Christian ones - Cafod and Oxfam. They are doing splendid work in encouraging self sufficiency and bringing the Good News too.

25 April 2012 at 19:53  
Blogger gafflad said...

With reference to an earlier comment on this thread, it would not matter one iota how many Muslims were present here.
The worst atrocities of genocide/human suffering are inflicted by Muslims on Muslims in Muslim lands as well as Christian.
No amount of Muslims here would act as a shield by any definition.

25 April 2012 at 21:13  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

gafflad

The worst atrocities of genocide/human suffering are inflicted by Muslims on Muslims in Muslim lands as well as Christian.

The worst atrocities of genocide/ human suffering were inflicted by atheists in the Soviet Union and China. The only thing that comes close to those two examples would be the genocide/ human suffering inflicted by the pagans in Hitler's Germany.

carl

25 April 2012 at 21:21  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

carl

Agreed but such atrocities share a common theme their religious counterparts. Each chases a conceived "higher purpose" through means considered legimate.

One perpetrates crime for "man" and denies individual worth. The other for "God" and places the soul above human life.

26 April 2012 at 00:09  
Blogger Marcus Foxall said...

Oswin @ 25 April 2012 14:46
said:
"This site is about religion and politics, and NOT nanotechnology; so just what do you expect? Should an issue only be touched-upon once?

The growing instability within Pakistan, and the increasing austerity here, at home, surely make pertinent further examination of present circumstances, yes?"

Sure , but it needs re-examining by the secular DFID. His Grace can of course write about whatever he likes.But it may be more efficacious to put his concern into action , by returning to his more recent incarnation and run for Parliament again.
Judging by the tone of his insightful comments over the past few months,I doubt he'd stand as a Tory,though !

26 April 2012 at 01:39  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo, that was the bit that stood out for me too. Whilst technically correct, their actions are clearly political and so those are just weasel words. Like other political organisations, the Catholic Church is lobbying and agitating for its special intersts and hopes to force the rest of us to not only recognise them but adopt them too.

26 April 2012 at 02:38  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Mr. Inspector, This gal and quite a few others, will vote for Nigel because of his policies and potential as a strong leader. We couldn't give a kipper's dangly bits for his looks. Nigel could have a face like the rear end of a number 9 bus for all I care.

;0)

26 April 2012 at 07:29  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Dodo @ 19.53, this communicant always regards Oxfam as highly political and with a world view no different to that of Greenpeace.

26 April 2012 at 07:44  
Blogger len said...

It is rather ironic that we are suffering(rather not all of us but the man in the street')austerity measures but we are sending aid to all and sundry, 'propping up' the banking Industry,and ploughing billions into the EU.

We have' soup kitchens' being set up in major cities and a sub culture being formed between the very wealthy and the desperately poor. If this is the 'Big Society then most people 'the man in the street' can definately do without it!.

Conservatism has failed, Labour has failed,Liberalism has failed,
each has put its own interests above those of the general public..Who or what exactly has the 'man in the street' left left to guard his interests.
As things get progressively worse(as they seem to be doing) more radical solutions will be sought.

I have nothing against charity or giving aid to those who need it but cash given is almost certainly going to be misused and misdirected when given to the' wrong sources'.

26 April 2012 at 07:52  
Blogger Oswin said...

Len: yep, you've just about covered it there.


Marcus Foxall @ 01:39: you might well be right there; His Grace does appear to be leaning a little further towards UKIP.

Any thoughts, Your Grace?

26 April 2012 at 15:08  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

bluedog

Charity is 'political' in so far as it attempts to change the daily realities of the lives of people.

These charities are not the same as Greenpeace. Charity that seeks to equip the common people to become self sufficient is political. They also campaign to bring about social change by raising awareness. I prefer Sciaf - Scotland's equivalent to Cafod. It too is 'political' in the sense given above. That said, both offer 'gift aid' schemes where you buy animals, wells, crops, bee hives etc for villages.

26 April 2012 at 18:19  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Gnostic. (Farage) We couldn't give a kipper's dangly bits for his looks.

That’s the spirit old thing. Inspector remembers the sweeping into power of Blair in 1997; much of his massive majority down to ‘the ladies fancied him’ factor. Dreadful time for the Inspector, yet he turned out to be a safe pair of (Tory!) hands when compared to Brown. Absolutely bizarre, but just goes to show the 3 main parties are different shades of the same at times.

26 April 2012 at 18:21  

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