The Trump administration announced last week that it will freeze millions of dollars in security aid to Pakistan because the country will not take “decisive action” against Taliban militants targeting U.S. personnel in neighboring Afghanistan.
Pakistanis responded to the news by burning American flags and posters of President Donald Trump.
In all, the financial assistance is close to $2 billion, a figure that “represents about $1 billion in planned military assistance, including $255 million that was placed on hold in August, and about $900 million in Coalition Support Funds intended to reimburse Pakistan for counterterrorism operations,” Fox News reported.
— TRT World (@trtworld) January 2, 2018
Trump tweeted on News Year Day that the U.S. “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. ”
The president followed that up with a pair of tweets the next day saying that Pakistan gives the U.S. “no appreciation or respect” and will not even “negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel.”
Hundreds of demonstrators burnt the U.S. flag and images of Trump at the Peshawar military cantonment on Friday to protest his actions, Fars News reported.
Protesters also marched through the streets of Karachi carrying placards and banners that read, “No more Trump!”
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said last week that he’ll introduce legislation to eliminate U.S. aid to Pakistan, setting the funding aside for domestic infrastructure projects.
“The United States should not give one penny to countries who burn our flag and chant ‘Death to America,'” Paul said in a video message posted online. “Countries like Pakistan that stonewall access to key information in fighting terrorism don’t deserve our money.”
“I say we should stop now, stop sending your hard-earned tax dollars to Pakistan.”
President Trump responded to Paul’s video message in a tweet: “Good idea Rand!”
Or, as one social media user noted in a meme: “If they hate us, then let them hate us for free.”
Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi declared that his country is “on the forefront of the war on terror” in speaking with The Guardian, and said the financial assistance received from the U.S. was “very, very insignificant.”
He also said Pakistan only gets a small fraction of the $2 billion mentioned.
“I am not sure what US aid has been talked here,” Abbasi said. “The aid in the last five years at least has been less than $10m a year. It’s a very, very insignificant amount. So when I read in the paper that aid at the level of $250m or 500 or 900 has been cut, we at least are not aware of that aid.”
An assessment that all but settles any misgivings about not cutting off the financial aid.
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