Washington: A manipulative Pakistan which supports terrorist elements has been treating the US like chumps, American lawmakers and experts have said while calling for cutting off aid to the country and listing it as a state sponsoring terrorism.
“They are making chumps out of us. They see us we are being so stupid. It seems like paying the mafia,” said Congressman Matt Salmon, Chairman of the Asia and Pacific subcommittee of House Foreign Affairs Committee. “If I may use an undiplomatic term. We have been patsies,” said former Bush era top diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad told lawmakers along with others how Pakistani leadership had gamed the American system for decades.
“Patsies chumps. Most Americans see out of this and yet our so called leaders do not really get it,” Salmon added.
Bill Roggio, senior editor of the Long War Journal Foundation for Defense of Democracies along with Khalilzad called for cutting aid to Pakistan and put them in the list of State Sponsor of terrorism.
“At the end they are treating us like chumps. And we are more than willing to keep on handing out money to Pakistan,” Roggio said as he Khalilzad and other experts testified before on “Pakistan: A Friend of Foe in the Fight Against Terrorism,” during a Congressional hearing.
“Pakistanis are very clever in manipulating us. I have to say that,” said Khalilzad, sharing his experience of dealing with the Pakistani leadership when he served in various diplomatic position in the Bush era including the US ambassador to Afghanistan and the Permanent Representative of the US to the UN.
They reach out to distinguished members of the Congress, they invite them for visits, they charm them, they promise once again and they extract statements from us that are “surprising” in the face of facts, he said.
Asked why the US continued with its same policy, Khalilzad said that Pakistani ability to manipulate by their actions in part had been a factor.
“My experience in dealing with Pakistan is that they will only give you something, when they know that they are going to get something,” the former top American diplomat said. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said the Pakistani government and the Saudi Arabia created the Taliban and the Haqqani network.
Rohrabacher said the US’ aid giving to Pakistan was “ridiculous”.
“People of Baluchistan are being slaughtered by this corrupt oppressive regime. People of Baluchistan should understand that the US is on their side for their independence and self-determination from a corrupt, viscous terrorist supporting regime,” Rohrabacher said.
“Same with the Sindhis. Same with other groups in Pakistan. So we got a regime that murders and represses and is corrupt with their own people and yet we still continue to give them some type of support… absolutely absurd,” Rohrabacher said during the Congressional hearing.
Congressman William Keating ranking member of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-Proliferation and Trade asked panelists if ISI was a state within a state.
“It is by no means a rogue institution within Pakistan. It does not operate independently or on its own. It is an instrument or an arm of the Pakistani army. It is implementing the policies of the Pakistani army. It is implementing on behalf of the Pakistani Army,” said Tricia Bacon, Assistant Professor, American University.
“Roggio said ISI is an arm of the Pakistani military. It is executing the will of the Pakistani military, which is really the Pakistani State. The (elected) government is just the face of the Pakistani military,” Bacon said.
“I concur with my colleagues,” Khalilzad said.
Salmon said he personally believed that as the first step, the US should completely cut off aid to Pakistan. “That would be the right first step. If we do not any changes, we move some of the other suggestions, state sponsor terrorism, possible economic sanctions. I personally believe we have the worst policy that we have and what we are doing is rewarding thugs,” Salmon said.