A day after US suspended $1 billion security aid to Pakistan for failing to act against Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani terror network, President Donald Trump on Saturday backed a demand to eliminate all aid to Pakistan. He took to Twitter to endorse Senator Rand Paul’s bill to eliminate all US aid to Pakistan.
Paul, who is also a senior Republican leader, said on Friday that US should stop giving assistance to countries which “chant death to America”. The Kentucky Senator also posted a video on Twitter elaborating on his bill.
“I’m introducing a bill to end aid to Pakistan in the coming days. My bill will take the money that would have gone to Pakistan and put it in an infrastructure fund to build roads and bridges here at home,” he wrote on Twitter. On Saturday, President Trump responded to Paul’s tweet saying it was a “good plan!”
Paul said he has been fighting to end Pakistani aid for years but now there has been a breakthrough. “I want to end all of it. I’m introducing a bill to do just that in the coming days,” he said. “US should not give one penny to countries that burn our flag and chant Death to America. Countries like Pakistan that stonewall access to key information in fighting terrorism don’t deserve our money,” Paul said on Friday.
“We should stop now sending hard earned tax dollars to Pakistan. We sent Pakistan over $33 billion since 2002. What did we get for it? Pakistan didn’t even help us find it Bin laden even though he was living in one of their cities for years.. Some say Pakistani intelligence agents actually aid and abet the terrorists. Its wrong,” he alleged.
The US move to suspend aid came four days after Trump accused the country of “lies and deceit”, and providing a “safe haven” to terrorists. The amount being withheld includes $255 million in Foreign Military Funding (FMF) for the fiscal year 2016 as mandated by the US Congress. The US Department of Defense has also suspended $900 million in Coalition Support Funds (CSF) to Pakistan for the fiscal year 2017 and other unspent money in aid from previous fiscal years.
“We consider them (terror groups) to be destabilising the region and also targeting US personnel,” US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters in Washington DC. The US, she said, will not be delivering military equipment or transferring security related funds to Pakistan unless it is required by law. Sources in Washington DC earlier told The Indian Express that the freeze was “temporary” and could be lifted if Pakistan “changed its ways”. Read more here.