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US introduced Bill to cut non-defence aid to Pak; funds to go for infra

Massie said the US should not funnel money to a government that 'provides military aid and intelligence to terrorists'

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Donald Trump

A bill was introduced on Tuesday in the US House of Representatives to end non-defence aid to Pakistan as it "provides military aid and intelligence" to terrorists.

It sought that the amount be redirect to infrastructure projects in the country.

Introduced by Congressmen Mark Sanford from South Carolina and Thomas Massie from Kentucky, the legislation will prohibit the US State Department and the United States Agency for Development (USAID) from sending American taxpayer money to Pakistan.

Instead, these funds will be redirected to the Highway Trust Fund, the account that pays for road infrastructure in the US.

The lawmakers alleged that Pakistan "knowingly" provides resources to terrorists.

Massie said the US should not funnel money to a government that "provides military aid and intelligence to terrorists".

This common-sense bill puts America first by reallocating tax dollars to roads and bridges at home instead of funnelling money overseas, he added.

Sanford said, "When the American people support other nations, our generosity shouldn't be used to reward terrorists with US taxpayer dollars. Couple this with the fact that the Highway Trust Fund will be $111 billion short by 2026, and it simply makes financial sense to repurpose these funds for our infrastructure."

Senator Rand Paul, who introduced the companion legislation in the Senate, said we fail to protect the country and steward taxpayers' hard-earned money when we support countries that chant "death to America and burn our flag".

"Let's bring that money home and use it to help rebuild our infrastructure instead of giving it to a nation that persecutes Christians and imprisons people such as the doctor that helped us get Osama bin Laden," he said.

The US, post 9/11, has provided nearly $34 billion in aid to Pakistan, including USD 526 million in 2017 alone.

First Published: Tue, February 06 2018. 07:21 IST
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