A leader of the ruling party in Pakistan has reportedly denied that the United States has provided about $30 billion in American taxpayer funds for security and economic aid to Pakistan since the war started in neighboring Afghanistan 16 years ago.
“It’s not billions of dollars, it is peanuts,” claimed Chaudhry Nisar, a Pakistani lawmaker who until recently served as the country’s interior minister, reports Dawn.
He urged Islamabad to carry out an audit of U.S. aid it has received in the last decade.
Since the war in neighboring Afghanistan broke out in October 2001, the United States has provided “nearly $30 billion” in American taxpayer money for security and economic aid to Pakistan, revealed the U.S. National Defense and Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2015.
Nisar argued that the United States has provided funds to its Coalition Support Fund (CSF) for “services rendered by Pakistan” in the fight against Islamic terrorism.
“If our bill [for military services] is $500 million, they [US] sit on it for months … and end up giving us $200 million,” complained the Pakistani politician.
CSF refers to U.S. aid that is eligible to be used to reimburse coalition partners for logistical and military support to American military operations.
In recent years, the United States has withheld millions of dollars in reimbursement payments to Pakistan, with plans to cut more, over its refusal to take action against the Afghan Taliban and its ally the Haqqani Network.
Most recently, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration decided to cut about $50 million in 2016 CFS payments to Pakistan.
The Trump administration has also decided to withhold $400 million in 2017 CFS funds to Pakistan, according to the NDAA for that year.
In total, the U.S. has provided $14 billion in CFS funds alone to Pakistan, reported the Washington Post, citing the Pentagon.
While announcing his Afghan war strategy last week, U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledged recently that the United States has been “paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars” while the Muslim country has been “housing the very terrorists we are fighting” in neighboring Afghanistan.
The leader of the ruling PML (N) party in Pakistan, Nisar, denounced Trump’s accusation that Islamabad is providing shelter to Islamic terrorists, echoing other officials from his country.
Last week, President Trump accused Pakistan of providing “safe havens to agents of chaos and terror,” to the ire of Islamabad.