The Trump Administration is withholding 255 million dollars in economic and military assistance slated for Pakistan. Mr. Trump accuses Pakistan, once considered a partner in the War on Terror, of providing aid to/and harboring terrorists.
“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” Trump tweeted on 31 December.
Since September 2000, the United States has given Pakistan more than 34 billion dollars in economic assistance. Despite this aid, Pakistan continues to support the Taliban and other jihadist groups operating in Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden, the man responsible for the 9-11 terror attacks, was hiding in Pakistan when he was killed.
At best, Pakistan is an unsure ally. Pakistan’s foreign policy revolves around India, a regional rival and economic powerhouse. Islamabad plays the United States against China to gain leverage against India. If Afghanistan becomes a stable government and develops economic ties with India, it could change the region’s delicate balance of power.
The US is better served supporting India and isolating Pakistan. Pakistan will never support the development of a strong/stable Afghanistan. No amount of foreign aid or diplomatic coercion changes that. The Chinese will try to fill the void , but Islamabad will soon discover China is an expensive and problematic ally.