Washington, DC. March 09, 2009. Today every Member of Congress received a personal appeal letter from Sanjay Puri, the Chairman of the U.S.-India Political Action Committee (USINPAC), and an online petition signed by over 16,000 concerned citizens calling for Congress to cut off funding to Pakistan if it does not shut down the terror training camps located in its territory that were clearly responsible for the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Since 9/11, USINPAC has been lobbying Capitol Hill for this kind of conditioned aid to Pakistan given the particularities in evidence there that clearly contribute to a greater loss of innocent life and more violence not just within South Asia but witnessed globally as well.
Pakistan denied initially any responsibility in the immediate aftermath of the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. It was not until early January that Pakistan even admitted that Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman from the attacks, was a Pakistani. In February, Pakistan acknowledged for the first time that last Novemberâ€™s terrorist attacks on Mumbai were planned, at least partly, on Pakistani soil.
"Although far too slow in coming, this admission is welcomed; however, Islamabad must still dismantle the 'infrastructure of terrorism' on its soil. By becoming a major U.S. partner and staging area for the war in Afghanistan, the United States has considered Pakistan one of its most important allies in the 'war on terror.' With the existence of al-Qaida and other Islamic militant safe havens in Pakistan, the sincerity of of the Pakistani government in fighting Islamists on its own soil will be tested," said Sanjay Puri.
At this moment, some in Congress are calling for an urgent boost in aid to Pakistan with warnings that "time is running out" to help the civilian government in Islamabad. But after seven years of unconditional support from American taxpayers, others in Congress are seeking appropriate conditions on aid to Pakistan and looking to hold the government there more accountable. "The United States cannot continue to wage the war on terror as the just cause that it is and yet continue to support the status quo in Pakistan, and we will continue to do all we can to keep that message alive in the halls of Congress," said Sanjay Puri.