Are Pakistan and the United States about to get a divorce? The United States is threatening to cut aid, holding back some $800 million, nearly a third of the $2 billion that we give the country every year. Now Pakistan has responded by declaring they reject conditional aid from the United States. Corps Commanders in the Pakistani Army say they will rely on their own resources instead. They also now say that they will pull troops from the Afghan border if the U.S. cuts aid, which of course will mean that the Taliban will have free reign in the border region. “If Americans refuse to give us money, they okay. I think the next step is that the government or the armed forces will be moving from the border areas. We cannot afford to keep military out in the mountains for such a long period.” That’s the word from Pakistan’s Defense Minister.
And now China has stepped in the fray. As the White House announced cutting aid, China declared that they pledged to continue their support for Pakistan, “a close ally.”
Much as I dislike the fact, we need Pakistan for the fight against militant Islam. And remember: these guys have nuclear weapons.