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