US humanitarian relief is empowering Pakistan’s military-jihadi complex
As feared, the world’s humanitarian response to Pakistan’s flood crisis is strengthening the very Islamic militant groups that constitute a long-term threat to international security. Nothing exemplifies this as Rajiv Shah, the USAID chief, visiting a camp run by Jamaat-ud-Dawa’s (JuD) front organisation, and the latter basking in the glory of an endorsement by its professed enemy.
“It is nice to meet you. Thank you for your service here,” ABC News quotes Dr Shah as saying ‘when [the USAID chief] gave this warm welcome to a senior member of FIF’. The Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) is the Jamaat-ud-Dawa by another name.
The Obama administration will have its share of blame for the political consequences of its failure to learn from the experience of the 2005 earthquake. Evidently, it has not spared a thought for what might happen in a post-deluge Pakistan where the military and the jihadi groups are more popular than democratic political parties. [See Militants, disaster relief & policy]
Notice the difference between the reactions of the JuD and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to foreign assistance. The JuD was happy to host Dr Shah’s visit. The TTP plans to kill foreign aid workers. That’s because the JuD takes its orders from the Pakistani army—literally, as this 2005 photograph shows–but the TTP probably doesn’t.
The difference might cause the United States to make more mistakes.