An influential democratic senator on Friday said that Islamabad was not interested in developing a strategic relationship with the Obama administration in tackling terrorism and is interested only in money and weapons that came through the unconditional aid granted by the US.
“I get no sense that we have a Pakistan strategy. We have been talking about offering them a strategic relationship. They don’t seem to want a strategic relationship,” Senator Robert Menendez said at a hearing on Afghanistan convened by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“They want the money, they want the equipment, but at the end of the day, they don’t want a relationship that costs them too much,” Menendez said.
Menendez, who is a vocal critic of Obama Administration’s policy on Pakistan, also opposed the idea of providing unconditional aid to the Islamic republic.
“It seems to me the more we build up our troops in Afghanistan, the more reliant we become on the Pakistanis for -- in a variety of ways. So I just don’t get the sense, at this point in time, of a comprehensive policy that says that I should vote for billions of dollars more to send our sons and daughters in harm’s way in a way that we will ultimately succeed in our national security goals,” he said.
He said that any aid to Pakistan needs to be conditional and be linked with Islamabad’s seriousness and progress made by them in taking action against terrorism.
“I hope I can be convinced before that vote comes. But as of right now, I am not,” said Menendez who has authored several legislations and amendments in the US Congress in this regard.