BY YASHWANT RAJ
Washington– Nikki Haley, who is seeking the Republican nomination to run for White House, on Tuesday slammed Pakistan as one of the “bad guys” the United States had paid millions out of its own weaknesses.
Haley, who is a former ambassador to the UN, sounded here a bit like her former boss and present rival for the Republican nomination, former President Donald Trump, who had plunged ties with Pakistan to new depths accusing it of lying and deceiving the United States despite getting billions in aid.
“A weak America pays the bad guys: Hundreds of millions to Pakistan, Iraq, and Zimbabwe last year alone,” Haley wrote in a tweet, adding, “A strong America won’t be the world’s ATM.”
This was probably one of the few foreign policy pronouncements from Haley after she declared her candidacy for the Republican party nomination for the White House race in 2024. She is only second in the field after Trump, who took the lead months ago. More are expected to join in soon.
Pakistan has received billions of dollars in aid from the United States for the help it provided to American forces fighting in Afghanistan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. That flow has turned into a trickle as American policy makers came to fully understand Pakistan’s duplicity in aiding and harboring the same terrorists that the Americans were fighting.
Islamabad has lately received some aid for relief and rehabilitation measures post the devastating floods in 2022, but it’s nothing compared to the largesse it had gotten before Trump took office.
“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools,” Trump wrote in the tweet as the world entered the year 2018. “They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
Trump proceded shortly to suspend all security-related aid to Pakistan, and put the bilateral relationship on ice.
Haley ‘s criticism of Pakistan is in stark contrast to the gradual softening tone of the Biden administration, which has cleared a package worth millions of dollars for the maintenance of its fleet of F-16 fighter jets. (IANS)