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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Support for US end to Pakistani military aid

The British-Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) has backed the United States’ decision to suspend military aid to Pakistan.

The US recently announced that it would suspend security assistance to Pakistan for failing to take decisive action against Taliban militants who are targeting US personnel in Afghanistan.

The suspension follows a tweet by President Donald Trump on 1st January, in which he questioned the value of US investment in Pakistan for the purposes of making the middle-east region more stable.

‘The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than $33billion in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!’ he tweeted.

Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the BPCA, said the association had been calling for better monitoring of the use of foreign aid to Pakistan for many years.

“We are supportive and strongly in favour of the Trump administration’s recent decision as Pakistan has shown few signs of any positive action towards limiting the Taliban or Haqqani network movement,” he told The Universe.

He said the US State Department’s announcement that it is placing the South Asian nation on a special watch list for religious violations, would bring “great relief to Pakistani Christians who have been challenging for persecution to be recognised by western nations”.

He added: “I do not agree with everything that Donald Trump does but his recent tweet has finally caused the much-needed inspection of Pakistan’s socio-political climate and poor governance – for this he will be receiving my great thanks.”

Meanwhile, Aid to the Church in Need (UK) head of press and information, John Pontifex, told The Universe: “In numerous visits I and others from Aid to the Church in Need have made to Pakistan, we have met many victims of persecution and we owe it to them to stand up against the problem of religious freedom violations which are endemic.

“The threat of violent attack – such as the blast at the packed church in Quetta last month – false blasphemy allegations, religious hatred in school text books, discrimination in the workplace, abduction of girls and much else casts a long shadow over the lives not just of Christians but of many minorities.

“It is not the role of ACN to pass comment on questions of military assistance. But suffice to say, tackling extremism has to be a top priority for the government in Pakistan. The very safety of Christian and other communities depends on it.”

Picture: President Donald Trump. (CNS photo/Kevin Lamarque, Reuters).