Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has hinted at seeking help from India and other nations to address the “problem” of what he described as a “semi-unstable” nuclear-armed Pakistan.
Trump’s remarks on Thursday came during a town-hall meeting in Indianapolis in response to a question on how he would deal with countries like Pakistan, which has sometimes “double dealt” with the US. “We’ve given them (Pakistan) money and they’ve double dealt us,” the interviewer said.
“Yes, but the problem with Pakistan, where they have nuclear weapons — which is a real problem,” Trump said.
“The single biggest problem we have is nuclear weapons, you know, countries with them. And it’s not only a country, you have nine countries right now with nuclear weapons.
“But Pakistan is semi-unstable. We don’t want to see total instability. It’s not that much, relatively speaking. We have a little bit of a good relationship. I think I’d try and keep it,” said Trump.
“It is very much against my grain to say that, but a country -- and that’s always the country, I think, you know, we give them money and we help them out, but if we don’t, I think that would go on the other side of the ledger and that could really be a disaster,” Trump said, without explaining what that disaster would be.
“At the same time, if you look at India and some of the others, maybe they’ll be helping us out, because we’re going to look at it. We have many, many countries that we give a lot of money to and we get absolutely nothing in return and that’s going to stop fast,” Trump said.
Trump’s remarks came on a day when lawmakers questioned the rationale of the Obama administration to give billions of dollars in aid to Pakistan without desired results.
“Despite giving Pakistan enormous amounts of counter terror assistance over the years, over $25 billion since 9/11, terrorist organisations continue to operate with impunity in Pakistan. Pakistan has used terror as a tool of statecraft and terrorist proxy groups for the Pakistani military have carried out fatal attacks inside India,” Congressman Matt Salmon said during a Congressional hearing.
The US State Department has request $742.2 million in aid to Pakistan for 2016-2017 including $472.4 million in civilian assistance and $269.8 million in security assistance.
“Pakistan is a nation of 180 million people with a history of terrorist activities, roughly 100 nuclear weapons and a very confused body politic,” said Congressman Brad Sherman.
“We need to offer to Pakistan those weapon systems well-crafted to go after terrorists and not crafted for a war with India,” he said.