WASHINGTON: In the latest jab at Pakistan, the US House of Representatives has unanimously voted to cut military aid to it by a whopping USD 650 million, with a top Republican lawmaker calling the country “Benedict Arnold”, the most well-known traitor in American history.
The amendment to cut the aid, which was proposed by Republican Congressman Ted Poe, passed on the floor of the House with a voice vote.
Poe had demanded a USD 1.3 billion cut, but settled for the USD 650 million cut. The measure will now go to Senate for approval.
“Pakistan is the ‘Benedict Arnold’ to America in the war on terror. They are disloyal, deceptive and a danger to the United States,” said Poe, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Benedict Arnold was an American general who defected to the British side during the Revolutionary War.
“This so-called ally continues to take billions in US aid, while funding the militants who attack us. And we’ve kept the money flowing. It’s time we turn off the tap,” Poe said.
“By continuing to provide aid to Pakistan, we are funding the enemy, endangering Americans and undermining our efforts in the region. We don’t need to pay them to betray us; they are already doing it for free,” he said.
The State Department, however, refused to comment on the development, saying that since the legislative process was ongoing, it would not have any particular reaction.
“We continue to consult with Congress, but I don’t have any particular reaction to ongoing legislative debate,” said State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell.
“We continue to, obviously, support our Pakistani counterparts in key areas like counter-terrorism, but I don’t have a particular reaction to ongoing legislative debate,” Ventrell told reporters. –PTI