Pakistan’s powerful military chief on Thursday called for American military assistance to be converted into public aid, a rare move which reflected growing criticism of the country’s security forces at home. A statement issued from General Ashfaque Pervez Kiyani said that funds currently being spent on the military are more urgently require to lessen “the burden on the common man.”
Though the remarks are not likely to have any major short-term impact, it can help shape up growing debate in the US about the justification for paying billions of dollars in aid to a military which many American lawmakers see with great suspicion. Domestically, Kiyani’s comment would help sooth the tense civilian-military relations in the country. Pakistan Army has come under severe criticism related to the discovery of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, US unilateral operation to eliminate him, and Taliban attack on naval facilities in Karachi.