Top US lawmakers called for cutting financial aid to Pakistan and imposing sanctions against it as prominent think tanks pointed to Pakistan’s double standards in combating terrorism and said it is opportune time to consider putting Pakistan on the list of state sponsor of terrorism.Congressman William Keating that the US arms supply to Pakistan is unlikely to help it in the fight against terrorism, but would arm it to be used against India.
“Patience on Pakistan is growing very thin and just cutting off the funding is not going to be enough and put some sanctions ,” Congressman Matt Salmon, Chairman of the Asia and Pacific subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said.
“Those who suggest giving aid to Pakistan need to give justification for using the tax payer’s money,” Congressman Brad Sherman, Ranking member of the subcommittee joined Salmon and other lawmakers for actions against Pakistan.
Congressman William Keating, ranking member of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-Proliferation and Trade argued that there is little reason to believe that Pakistan is going to change its policies of using terrorism as a tool to meet its strategic needs. as two of the top al Qaeda leaders have been killed in Pakistan.
“We also need to suspend all military and non-education assistance,” Zalmay Khalilzad, a former top American diplomat of the Bush Administration, said in his testimony during the hearing titled ‘Pakistan: Friend or Foe in the Fight Against Terrorism?’. It was jointly convened by the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-Proliferation and Trade and Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Meanwhile, former top diplomats and think tanks said it is time that US consider putting Pakistan on the list of state sponsor of terrorism.
“Pakistan now is a state sponsor of terrorism. There is no question that ISI supports the Haqqani network, which we regard as a terrorist network,” said Zalmay Khalilzad, a former top American diplomat of the Bush Administration.
“It is also clear that the Pakistani military and intelligence provide sanctuary and support to the Taliban,” Khalilzad said
“I believe we need to consider a different policy… One of increasing the cost of the policy of Pakistan,” he said and called for additional drone attacks against terrorist groups.
Khalilzad said,”Because of the duplicity of the Pakistan’s leadership ,specific sanctions should be imposed against individuals in Pakistan military and ISI officials”.