Senator Rand Paul repeated a call by the President this week to end aid to Pakistan, saying that Trump is right because Pakistan provides a safe haven for terrorists, incarcerates Christians, and hates the US.
Appearing on Fox News Channel’s “Your World,” Paul said that aid should not be given to countries who deny human rights and openly oppose US principles.
“I think most Americans would support the president on this. Why don’t we like to see our money going to countries that burn our flag?” Paul said.
“In Pakistan, they incarcerate Christians.” he added, explaining that “There is a Christian Asia Bibi that’s been on death row for five years.”
“They put a Dr. Shakil Afridi in jail for 33 years. He’s the guy that helps us get bin Laden.” Paul added, noting that “They looked the other way that bin Laden was there over a decade.”
“So yes there should be conditions to it. We shouldn’t give money to countries that have mass protests burning our flag and put Christians in jail for gossip.” Paul exclaimed.
“There’s no reason in the world we should give them one penny when they put Christians in jail or put people in jail that helped to get us bin Laden. That shows to me to—makes me think that they don’t care about being our ally.” he added.
“At the very least, if you give people money, they ought to be your friend and they ought to be your ally. There’s some question whether Pakistani intelligence cooperates with the network that kills our soldiers across the border in Afghanistan.” Paul continued.
“Yeah, Americans agree with the president. We ought to quit sending good money after bad.” The Senator urged.
Paul added that he has discussed with Trump how to put the money to better use.
“And what I discussed with the president, I have an idea for using some of that money at home. We have bridges, roads that need repair. Keep that money at home and put it to rebuilding our infrastructure here at home.” he stated.
Trump tweeted a promise Tuesday to put a halt to Pakistan receiving billions of dollars from the US government every year for the last decade and a half.
The President said that no more will he tolerate the Pakistani authorities ‘lies and deceit’, and ‘thinking of our leaders as fools’.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2018
Paul responded to give a whole hearted thumbs up to Trump’s sentiment, noting that he himself has advocated ending aid to Pakistan for years.
I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been fighting to end aid to Pakistan for years and will again lead the charge in the Senate. Let’s make this happen @realDonaldTrump https://t.co/v4KrOrWOyS https://t.co/JNNChCfVqP
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 1, 2018
It was reported last week that the administration is considering withholding $225 million in aid to Pakistan over frustration with its handling of terror networks.
Pakistan’s defense minister responded to Trump Monday, saying that the US has acted with “nothing but invective and mistrust” toward Pakistan for years.
“[Pakistan] as anti-terror ally has given free to US: land & air communication, military bases & intel cooperation that decimated Al-Qaeda over last 16yrs, but they have given us nothing but invective & mistrust,” Khurram Dastgir-Khan tweeted.
Pak as anti-terror ally has given free to US: land & air communication, military bases & intel cooperation that decimated Al-Qaeda over last 16yrs, but they have given us nothing but invective & mistrust. They overlook cross-border safe havens of terrorists who murder Pakistanis.
— Pak Minister Defence (@PakMnstrDefence) January 1, 2018
The US ambassador to Pakistan, David Hale, was reportedly summoned to the Pakistani foreign ministry to explain Trump’s comments.