WASHINGTON – Days after suspending military aid to Pakistan, the United States is deliberating over ending economic assistance to Pakistan as a bill has been tabled in the US House of Representatives after the Senate.
Congressmen Mark Sanford from South Carolina and Thomas Massie from Kentucky on Tuesday moved a bill in House of Representatives seeking to cut non-defence aid to Pakistan and used the money for infrastructure development in the US, a plan revealed by the President Donald Trump during his maiden address at the State of the Union,
The movers, accusing Pakistan of supporting terrorists, seek to bar US State Department and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) from sending American taxpayer money.
Providing shelter to terrorists was a blame which has long been leveled by the US on Pakistan by undermining its sacrifices in the war on terror.
Pakistan officials have rejected the allegations as baseless, saying the US wanted to put the burden of its failure in the Afghanistan on Pakistan.
Congressman Massie said that the funds sent to Pakistan should be relocated to the Highway Trust Fund, the department that pays for road network development in the US.
“When the American people support other nations, our generosity shouldn’t be used to reward terrorists with US taxpayer dollars,” Congressman Sanford added.
“Couple this with the fact that the Highway Trust Fund will be $111 billion short by 2026, and it simply makes financial sense to repurpose these funds for our infrastructure,” he said.
In early January, Senator Rand Paul introduced legislation in the Senate to stop US economic assistance to Pakistan.
“We fail to protect the country and steward taxpayers’ hard-earned money when we support countries that chant ‘death to America and burn our flag’,” Paul argued.
“Let’s bring that money home and use it to help rebuild our infrastructure instead of giving it to a nation that persecutes Christians and imprisons people such as the doctor that helped us get Osama bin Laden,” Senator Paul said.
The debate in both house of the US regarding assistance to Pakistan comes after Trump made outlandish remarks against Pakistan with the state of the New Year.
Trump had tweeted that the United States had foolishly given Pakistan over $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years.
Days after the US government suspended at least $900 million in security assistance to Pakistan, pressing it to take action against Pakistan.