Washington: A U.S. congressional panel has demanded cutting off all U.S. assistance to Pakistan to persuade Islamabad to act against the Afghan Taliban groups, who allegedly uses the country’s territory to launch operations into Afghanistan.
Reports suggest that some U.S. lawmakers and witnesses also suggested declaring Islamabad, a state sponsor of terrorism and imposing economic sanctions if it does not eliminate the alleged terrorist safe havens on its territory.
At Tuesday’s hearing – “Pakistan: Friend or foe?”, the discussions produced more heat than expected.
Congressman Matt Salmon, Chairman of the Asia and Pacific Subcommittee of House Foreign Affairs Committee said Pakistan is making chumps out of us.
“They see us we are being so stupid. It seems like paying the mafia.” Dawn quoted Salmon as saying.
“Patsies chumps. Most Americans see out of this and yet our so-called leaders do not really get it,” he added.
Former U.S. ambassador to Kabul, Baghdad and the United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad said, “If I may use an undiplomatic term, we have been patsies.”
Khalilzad, who is an ethnic Afghan said that Pakistani leaders had gamed the American system for decades.
Following the comment, which was broadcast live on the internet, the Pakistan embassy in Washington clarified that Washington and Islamabad were still allies and there is “positive
counterterrorism cooperation between the two countries”.
Ambassador Khalilzad and Bill Roggio, senior editor of the Long War Journal, called for cutting aid to Islamabad and placing it on the list of state sponsor of terrorism.
“At the end they are treating us like chumps. And we are more than willing to keep on handing out money to Pakistan,” Roggio said.
He added that Pakistan’s ability to manipulate U.S. legislators and policy makers ensured assistance to Islamabad. (ANI)