CNN: Trump’s unfair attack on Pakistan By Arsla Jawaid
In response to Trump’s latest tweets [attacks] , Pakistan Minister for Defense Khurram Dastgir Khan tweeted from his official account: “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.”
And the minister is not wrong. Pakistan has made huge sacrifices on behalf of the United States.
Facts matter. As does math. Trump’s claim of “33 billion dollars in aid” is based on a number provided by the Congressional Research Service, which documents allocated aid — but not actual dispersed funds. This figure is a sum of $19 billion in security and economic aid and an additional $14.59 billion from the Coalition Support Fund (CSF), which reimburses US allies for logistical and military support.
However, since 2001, according to USAID, the US has only given Pakistan $14.79 billion in civilian and military aid, and funds from the CSF have periodically been revised, delayed or blocked. Not all of the allocated funds have been disbursed, due to concerns regarding Pakistan’s efforts to target Islamist militant groups, such as the Haqqani network, aligned with the Afghan Taliban and responsible for launching attacks in Afghanistan.
And the country’s fiery foreign minister, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, has already publicly offered to hire a US-based audit firm “on our expenses” to verify the $33 billion aid figure and “let the world know who is lying & deceiving.”
it’s also worth noting that much of the US aid that has been received ignores the economic and human cost of war on Pakistan. Pakistan’s Ministry of Finance estimates that since the country became a frontline ally to the United States, its economy has suffered close to a $123.1 billion loss. This number factors in loss of life, economic opportunity and damaged infrastructure. On civilian casualties alone, a 2015 report issued by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War places the number at 48,504 death between 2003-2015. Speaking with CNN in August 2017, one of Pakistan’s most prominent political leaders, Imran Khan, places the number even higher at 70,000 casualties.