Originally published in Charisma News
The Trump administration has just announced it is freezing upwards of $1-billion (R12,4-billion) in security assistance funds to Pakistan. For years, Pakistan has taken billions in US tax dollars while supporting enemies of the United States, including the Taliban and Al Qaeda. No more. Now, they have a choice: Fight terrorists with US support or lose hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
From 2002 to 2017, the United States has given Pakistan nearly $34-billion (R423.1-billion) in economic, humanitarian and security aid. On average, over the last five years, the United States has pledged over $1-billion (R12.4-billion) in security funding. In fiscal year 2017, the US had pledged nearly $1.2-billion (R14.9-billion) in total security funding. $250-million (R3.1-billion) of that US aid was earmarked for purchasing military equipment. The rest was allocated for reimbursing Pakistan for its alleged counter-terrorism operations.
As of this week, most of that $1.2-billion (R14.9-billion) is now frozen. Pakistan has repeatedly failed to uphold its end of the agreement to target the Taliban or the infamous Haqqani terrorist network that operates out of their northern tribal region. If Pakistan continues to support terrorism, the country could be denied close to another $1-billion (R12.4-billion) in 2018.
The American Centre for Law and Justice (ACLJ) says it applauds the administration’s decisive action. Just days ago, the president threatened to cut US aid to Pakistan; he followed through in less than a week. No longer will Pakistan be allowed to build their armies and line their pockets with US taxpayer dollars and then betray American interests and fund terrorist who kill Americans.
The ACLJ has advocated for this policy change for years. Pakistan is not just a terrorist hotbed, but also an infamous persecutor of Christians. Under the authority of the International Religious Freedom Act, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has designated Pakistan as a country of particular concern (CPC) for its “particularly severe,” “systematic, ongoing and egregious” violation of religious freedom.
In one instance, Bashiran Bibi, an elderly Pakistani Christian woman, was beaten by an influential Muslim man for refusing to clean his home. Through the ACLJ office in Pakistan, ACLJ fought for Bibi and held the perpetrators accountable. Yet, many more Christians still suffer. Asis Bibi, a Pakistani Christian mother of five, has been on death row for over seven years because of her Christian faith just for offering a Muslim co-worker a glass of water.