Demands include elimination of aid and imposition of sanctions
Washington, DC: Fifteen years after 9/11 and billions of dollars’ worth of aid to Pakistan, US lawmakers and subject matter experts questioned Pakistan’s double standards in dealing with terrorist attacks and with the US. At a recently held Congressional hearing titled, Pakistan: Friend or foe in the fight against terrorism? Witness after witness demanded cutting off all U.S. assistance to Pakistan and to persuade Islamabad to act against terrorist groups, which use the country's territory to launch operations against India and Afghanistan.
Congressman Matt Salmon, Chairman of the Asia and Pacific Subcommittee of House Foreign Affairs Committee said, “Pakistan is making chumps out of us.” As a first step he suggested cutting off all aid, and if there are no changes then he suggested labelling Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism, and possible economic sanctions. “I personally believe we have the worst policy that we have and what we are doing is rewarding thugs,” Salmon added.
Former Ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and Bill Roggio, senior editor of the Long War Journal, called for cutting aid to Pakistan and placing it on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Speaking from experience of dealing with the Pakistani leadership, Ambassador Khalilzad said, “Pakistanis are very clever in manipulating us. Pakistan’s ability to manipulate US legislators and policy makers ensures the continuation of US military and economic assistance to the country,” he added.
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia created the Taliban and the Haqqani network and Pakistan was protecting them. Meanwhile the Pakistan regime ‘murders and represses and is corrupt with their own people and yet we still continue to give them some type of support… absolutely absurd.’ He said the continuation of US aid to Pakistan was ‘ridiculous’ and urged the US administration to reach out directly to people of different Pakistani regions instead.
Vik Chauhan, Chairman and Co-Founder of Defense Technology India America Cooperation (DEFTIAC) remarked about the hearing, “There is a growing realization in Washington that two decades of policy towards Pakistan is not producing results, which needs to be re-visited. We also understand that Pakistan needs to be a better ally for the US and be more accountable for our tax payer money.”
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