US lawmakers' plan to cut aid for Pakistan inspired by baseless concerns: Aziz

Sartaj Aziz (in photo) holds a press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Islamabad, Pakistan on June 9, 2016. Photograph:( Getty )

WION Islamabad, Pakistan Jul 19, 2016, 01.17 PM (IST) Ayra Siddiq
Pakistan’s foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz has said that the decision of a US Congressional panel to cut aid to the country is inspired by 'baseless concerns' of 'a section of US lawmakers'. 

Last week, a US Congressional panel met to hold discussions regarding foreign aid provided to Pakistan. Congressman Matthew Salmon, during the meet, gave opening statements against giving further aid to ‘terrorism abetting’ Pakistan.  

Salmon further added that Pakistan was holding Dr Shakil Afridi in jail for helping the US capture and kill Osama Bin Laden in 2011 and that this kind of relation is not acceptable to the US. 

“This country (Pakistan) poses challenges that has plagued the United States for decades,” he added.

Another Congressman, Bill Keating, argued during the meet held on July 12 that Pakistan supports the Taliban, Haqqani network and other terrorist organisations, and that “these things undermine critical US national security interests.”  

This discussion paved the way for some of the strongest remarks to come out of US Congress on Pakistan in recent years. Pertinently, earlier this year, the sale of F-16 fighter jets was blocked by the US government for fear of Pakistan misusing them for terrorism-related activities. 

The panel also proposed that Pakistan be added to a list of countries that are ‘state sponsors of terrorism’. 

It may be recalled, however, that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Barack Obama have previously vowed to work together to step up 'fight against terrorism'. 

Also, Operation Zarb-e-Azb, carried out by the Pakistani military has so far killed more than 2,500 militants across 9,000 intelligence operations in various parts of Pakistan. 

Titled 'Pakistan: Friend or Foe', the discussion was mostly against further financial support of Pakistan due to the various terrorist havens that the Congress believes are untouched by the Pakistani military. 

What remains to be seen is if the US Congress would pass such a move in near future.