Since 2002, the United States has given the government of Pakistan a staggering $22 billion in foreign aid. This year alone, Pakistan is scheduled to …
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Since 2002, the United States has given the government of
Pakistan a staggering $22 billion in foreign aid. This year alone,
Pakistan is scheduled to receive more than $2.4 billion in U.S.
foreign aid, on top of additional funds for reimbursements for
Pakistani expenditures related to fighting terrorism in the
Pakistan is a country mired in corruption, has extremist
tendencies, is politically unstable, and has nuclear weapons.
Pakistan has been a difficult partner in the war against terrorism,
but the United States has no choice but to continue to make the
best of our relationship with them, given that many of our military
supply lines, necessary to support our forces in Afghanistan, go
through Pakistan and require the cooperation of that government. In
addition, terrorist organizations like al Qaeda and the Taliban
find sanctuary in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of
Pakistan and the United States has had limited success in working
with the Pakistani government in pursuing them.
Unfortunately, there has been a growing pattern of incidents
whereby elements within the Pakistani government have blocked
cooperation between our two countries. In recent congressional
testimony given by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
Admiral Mike Mullen, he publicly accused the Pakistani’s
intelligence agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services
Intelligence, of providing strategic support for an affiliate
organization of the Taliban called the Haqqani Network. In his
testimony Admiral Mullen said, “The support of terrorism is part of
their national strategy. … And that’s got to stop.”
The Pakistani government can’t have it both ways. They can’t
continue to be a major recipient of U.S. foreign aid while, at the
same time, helping the Taliban and other terror groups associated
with al Qaeda.
Because of the lack of cooperation from the Government of
Pakistan in the war against terrorism and their conflicting
objectives in Afghanistan which have resulted in rising tensions
between the U. S. and Pakistan, I have decided to go forward with
legislation that will end all U.S. economic aid to Pakistan and
condition all U.S. military aid to them on certification that they
are not opposing our efforts in the region.
No doubt, the U.S. economic aid Pakistan receives has not had
its intended purpose in terms of strengthening U.S.-Pakistani ties.
In fact, it is arguable that the opposite has been true in that as
the humanitarian aid has increased to over $2 billion in the last
two years, so has the hostility of the Pakistani government toward
the United States in both their rhetoric and their actions.
Under my legislation, military aid would be immediately
suspended until the Obama administration can certify that the
government of Pakistan is fully cooperating with the United States
when it comes to conducting military operations against the
Taliban, al Qaeda, and the other radical Islamic organizations
engaged in terrorist operations.
As a combat veteran, I know that as long as we have U.S. troops
fighting in Afghanistan that it would be irresponsible for the U.S.
to completely eliminate all military aid to Pakistan. We still have
an obligation to make sure that they end their covert support for
the Taliban and that U.S. military aid must be effectively used by
the Pakistanis to fight the same radical Islamic forces in Pakistan
that continue to plan and execute attacks against U.S. targets.
U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman serves Colorado’s 6th Congressional
District, which includes Douglas and Elbert counties and parts of
Arapahoe, Jefferson and Park counties.
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