Kerry takes Senator Rand Paul to task over Pakistan aid cut talk

Published: September 14, 2012

Senator says Pakistani civilians and troops have lost their lives to terrorism. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

WASHINGTON: As US Senator Rand Paul picked up on his call for terminating US aid to countries such as Pakistan, Egypt and Libya where US interests have come under attack recently, Senetor John Kerry stood up on the floor to take Tea Party Senator to task.

Senator Rand Paul on Thursday asked the US Senate to pass his amendment asking for all assistance to be cut off to Pakistan, Egypt and Libya. In his remarks while debating the Veterans Jobs Corps bill, Senator Paul said that while some in Pakistan had been supportive, “many in Pakistan with a wink and a nod take our money” and laugh at the US, referring to an alleged interview between CIA facilitator Dr Shakil Afridi and Fox News. Afridi in the interview, which he later denied giving, alleged that Pakistan is trying to get as much aid from the US as it can, all the while considering it the “worst enemy”.

Paul said that the US should stop all assistance to Pakistan and return the money to the US Treasury. He added that while the US should continue to engage with Pakistan, the US did not need to bribe Pakistan. Senator Paul added that the US should also stop assistance to Egypt and Libya following the attacks on US embassies in both countries.’

In response, Senator John Kerry, who is also the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, asked Senator Paul if he had ever been to either Egypt or Pakistan. In his remarks on the floor, Senator Kerry said that he found it “stunning” when there are remarks made about those specific countries not being friendly.

Senator Kerry said that Libya and Egypt were going through a period of transition after revolutions, and added that the first few years were not easy, and highlighted the US’ history as an example. Egypt was a US ally even under former president Hosni Mubarak’s regime.

Recounting that troops in the northwestern part of Pakistan were losing their lives to militants, “and you want to cut off aid?” asked Senator Kerry.

The committee chairman reminded that US troops in Afghanistan get some supplies through the supply routes in Pakistan. Senator Kerry added the US has been able to decimate the al Qaeda with Pakistan’s help.

“Civilians are being killed in Pakistan,” he said.

Kerry added that Pakistan’s political system and population were enduring the war, and questioned Senator Paul’s statement on cutting off assistance. He reminded the senator that less than one per cent of the US budget goes to assistance abroad.

Senator Rand Paul has previously asked for all assistance to be cut off to Pakistan until Dr Shakil Afridi is released.

Reader Comments (16)

  • meekal a ahmed
    Sep 14, 2012 - 2:07AM

    Perhaps a not well known fact: although large in absolute amounts, US assistance is about 0.23% of their GDP.

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  • Usman Khan
    Sep 14, 2012 - 2:31AM

    Senator Kerry is highly favourable to Pakistan, we need to make more friends not foes around the world…

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  • shak
    Sep 14, 2012 - 3:27AM

    Aitizaz Hasan’s son is one of the advisers to Kerry so I am sure Kerry is kept well informed. Also, I am sure Rand Paul hasn’t met many pakistanis for him to know what they really believe vs. what is portrayed on TV.

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  • True Voice of Pakistan
    Sep 14, 2012 - 3:43AM

    US should divert a strict monitored AID towards civilian sector, instead spending on military….and better options will be more educational reforms can change future course of Pakistan…more awareness and literacy can over come autocratic/ corrupt rule..that sufferred Pakistani domestic and Foreign policy.

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  • Arsie
    Sep 14, 2012 - 3:48AM

    Senator Kerry has proven himself time and again to be a true friend of Pakistan. Respect.

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  • Political Analyst
    Sep 14, 2012 - 4:49AM

    For all those who think that Kerry or anyone else is a true friend of Pakistan … Wake up and smell the stink … Kerry is the same friend who helped Ramond Davis escape .. Kerry is a friend till their agenda is meet … when pakistan slightly deviate from US agenda, the same Kerry will authorize a strike …. wait for the day and mark my words ….

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  • careful reader
    Sep 14, 2012 - 6:24AM

    Foreign aid is a major tool used by governments to gain political and military influence in the affairs of other countries in order to further promote the donor’s own interest. If people are not aware of this high school level fact of international relations then such people should not be in elected positions. The sad fact is that throughout the world, whether it is Pakistan or USA, uneducated and near-illiterate people comprise the majority of the electorate and this electorate constantly elects incompetent, corrupt, or extremist/war mongering politicians to office. Honest, patriotic, competent individuals rarely make it to high office.

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  • Pashtun voice
    Sep 14, 2012 - 6:30AM

    I would like to ask Rand Paul to come to KP and see for himself the sacrifices the people of Pakistan have given in this war on terror. While the US can boast that no significant terror attack has taken place in the US we in Pakistan and KP in particular have been faced with a calamity of historical proportions losing more than 40,000 of our citizens. No other country has spent so much and received so little.

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  • Robert Samuel White
    Sep 14, 2012 - 11:13AM

    Hi,

    I’m an American who lives in Kentucky, the state where Rand Paul is one of our elected officials. I did not vote for him. Unfortunately, Kentucky is one of the states where a disproportionate number of the electorate really don’t understand how harmful some of the politicians they elect into office can be.

    But to the point: I just really wanted to say that I read through all of your comments and I was genuinely touched and moved by them. Not only because you showed so much respect for my nation, but because you sound so genuinely informed and intelligent. If this were an American board, it would be filled with angst, propaganda, and shallow, uneducated opinions. Politics can be so harsh here.

    I really wish you all the very best in life and thank you for your support. I am sorry to hear you have lost so many of your citizens as one of the posters indicated. We are largely unaware of what happens outside of our own borders, but know that most of us are just like you…desperate for peace and understanding, compassion and tolerance.

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  • Fahad Raza
    Sep 14, 2012 - 3:03PM

    Cut the cursed aid… you don’t have money spend it on your people

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  • tarun
    Sep 14, 2012 - 7:26PM

    Sen. Rand Paul Talks common sense. Recommend

  • Forget Paul
    Sep 14, 2012 - 7:28PM

    China will be glad to fill in the void when USA cuts off the aid.

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  • Siddique Malik
    Sep 14, 2012 - 8:34PM

    @Political Analyst:
    You are utterly wrong: Sen. Kerry did not help Raymond Davis “escape.” Davis was released by a court in Pakistan.
    Siddique Malik, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

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  • Siddique Malik
    Sep 14, 2012 - 8:53PM

    @Robert Samuel White:
    While I agree with the gist of your post above, I do have a question: What comment/s in this discussion impressed you in terms of “so much respect for my nation”? I am not saying Pakistanis don’t respect America; some do, some don’t. I was just wondering what in the above discussions looks like respect to you? Or were you expecting to see outright condemnation and cursing of America — at times, that happens — and when you did not see that, it looked like respect to you? As I said, just wondering.
    Siddique Malik, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

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  • RON PAUL REVOLUTION
    Sep 15, 2012 - 12:36AM

    I am an American who is absolutely SICK of our tax dollars being wasted on foreign countries. It undermines Pakistan’s sovereignty and wastes our taxes!

    To all you Pakistanis who support Kerry: Understand that the bulk of the “aid” money is simply payoffs and bribes to your “elected” officials to continue to do America’s bidding. This does not benefit the average Pakistani (or the average American!)

    Sen. Paul speaks the truth, and his father voted AGAINST ALL WARS!
    Also, Ron Paul is AGAINST funding of ALL foreign nations (Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Pakistan all equally included).

    Wake up!

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  • M.Ahmer Ali
    Sep 15, 2012 - 9:55AM

    If you do so then this shall be yours the greatest ever benevolence on Pakistan and Pakistani nation…….

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