PTI chair­man says meet­ing Trump would be ‘bit­ter pill’

Im­ran says he has been a staunch op­po­nent of Pak­istan’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in war on ter­ror

The Gulf Today - - ASIA -

ISLAMABAD: Pak­istan Tehrik-ein­saf (PTI) Chair­man Im­ran Khan says meet­ing US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump would be a “bit­ter pill” to swal­low should he be­come Pak­istan’s prime min­is­ter in elec­tions later this year, but added “I would meet him.”

In A press BRIEING on Satur­day, Im­ran said he has been a staunch op­po­nent of Pak­istan’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the war on ter­ror since it be­gan in 2001 fol­low­ing the 9/11 at­tacks on the US.

“Pak­istan had noth­ing to do with it,” he said, adding he sup­ported co-op­er­a­tion with the United States but not co-opt­ing Pak­istan’s mil­i­tary into a ground bat­tle with its own peo­ple in the tribal re­gions that border Afghanistan and where Afghan in­sur­gents hide.

Ac­cord­ing to a me­dia re­port, the US-LED war AGAINST ter­ror HAS INLICTED three times more dam­ages on Pak­istan’s econ­omy than $33.4 bil­lion to­tal eco­nomic as­sis­tance that Islamabad has re­ceived in the past 16 years.

In­ter­est­ingly, these $33.4 bil­lion in­clude pay­ments made for supporting the US mis­sion in Afghanistan.

The to­tal eco­nomic losses that Pak­istan sus­tained di­rectly or in­di­rectly since the US in­va­sion of Kabul in Oc­to­ber 2001 stand at $123.13 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to Eco­nomic Sur­vey of Pak­istan 2016-17. The losses are $89.73 bil­lion higher than the amount the US ‘gen­er­ously’ gave to Pak­istan.

The $33.4 bil­lion re­im­burse­ments to Pak­istan in­clude $14.573 bil­lion pay­ments un­der the Coali­tion Sup­port Fund (CSF), which is tech­ni­cally not aid but ser­vice pay­ments for pro­vid­ing lo­gis­ti­cal and op­er­a­tional sup­port to the Us-led mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions in Afghanistan.

The US dis­bursed the $14.573 bil­lion af­ter vet­ting bills against ev­ery cent and re­jected bil­lions of dol­lars in claims that it found not gen­uine, said some former oficials of THE Min­istry of FI­NANCE.

The $14.573 bil­lion is 44 per cent of $33.4 bil­lion aid to Pak­istan. By ex­clud­ing the $14.573 bil­lion cost of lo­gis­tics and aerial sup­port, the ap­proved civil­ian and se­cu­rity-re­lated aid to Pak­istan from 2002 to 2016 will stand at only $18.8 bil­lion, said the sta­tis­tics compiled by US au­thor­i­ties.

Hy­po­thet­i­callyspeak­ing,theusshould pay $104.3 bil­lion more to Pak­istan just to make good these losses.

Since 2002, the US has given $7.96 bil­lion in se­cu­rity as­sis­tance to Pak­istan with an an­nual av­er­age of $530.4 mil­lion, which is 23.83 per cent of to­tal US bud­getary ap­pro­pri­a­tions for Pak­istan. A ma­jor chunk of it - $3.8 bil­lion - has been given un­der the For­eign Mil­i­tary Fi­nanc­ing Pro­gramme.

File / As­so­ci­ated Press

Im­ran Khan speaks to The As­so­ci­ated Press at his res­i­dence in Islamabad.

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