Financial Express

By: FE Online

American Congressman Ted Poe has said Pakistan is his country’s ugliest ally. In an opinion piece in The Washington Times, Poe makes a distinction among “good”, “bad” and “ugly” allies of the US. He says the good ones are allies and partners with whom America shares common interests and values, while the bad ones are countries that sponsor terrorism and not only “undermine” America’s goals but also “flaunt their disdain for the Unites States. Poe rates Pakistan in the third category: “the Ugly”.

The Congressman, who represents the second district of Texas in the US Congress, writes, “The Benedict Arnold of states that say they are our friends, take billions in U.S. aid, then back the very terrorists that are killing Americans. The ugliest of the bunch is Pakistan.”

According to Benedict Arnold was one of the earliest heroes of the revolutionary war (1775-83) against the British in America. But Arnold became the “most infamous traitor” in the history of the United States when he switched sides and compromised American interests after taking money from the British.

The US has backed Pakistan since its independence and provided both military support and billions of dollars in aid to Islamabad. But all Pakistan has managed to do is become a hub of global terrorism. By comparing Pakistan with the worst American traitor ever born, Poe is reflecting the growing realisation of Pakistan’s terror credentials duplicitous character in his country. On Monday even, Pakistan-backed terrorists killed seven innocent Amarnath Yatra pilgrims in Kashmir, India and injured around 20 others.

Poe writes that “Pakistan has a long duplicitous relationship with the U.S.” During the Cold war, Islamabad worked with the US to stop the advance of Soviet Union in South Asia. In the 1980s, the CIA and ISI “partnered to bleed the Soviet Union in Afghanistan by providing covert assistance to the Afghan anti-communist rebels.” But, says Poe, even as the US boosted Islamabad’s defences, Pakistan secretly developed nuclear weapons programme and proliferated it later to countries like Libya, Iran and North Korea.

Poe explains how Pakistan continued to back militants in Afghanistan even after the Soviet forces withdrew. With ISI support, the Congressman says, Taliban was able to control much of Afghanistan by 1996.

“In this jihadi paradise cultivated by Pakistan, al Qaeda was able to take shape and plan its war on the United States,” says Poe. The Congressman points out that Islamabad sided with the terrorists and saved Osama bin Laden before September 11 and even after that.

Pakistan fooled the US all along.

Even as the US killed Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan in May 2011, the Congressman says, “it was clear Pakistan had been playing us for fools.” When Pakistan learnt about the US secret operation to kill Laden, Pakistan sent F-16 fighters, that were “generously” provided by the Americans to Islamabad, to shoot down US Navy SEALS, when they flew back to Afghanistan after killing Laden.