Anti-American protests have been spreading like wildfire throughout the Middle East. It was inevitable that they would make their way to our pseudo-ally Pakistan. Demonstrators, over 5,000 of them, have attacked the U.S. embassy in Islamabad, resulting in over fifty injuries so far. And the government, who receives millions of dollars in aid from the United States, is not helping the cause. As BBC reports, “the Pakistani government has called a national holiday on Friday to enable people to demonstrate peacefully.”
The Taliban could not be happier. Not only are they failing to condemn the violent protests, the Pakistani government is actively encouraging the anti-American sentiment by rewarding the radicals with a government-approved day off so they can participate.
In spite of this blatant slap in the face to the United States, Pakistan is still attempting to feign friendship with our country. Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, as part of her four-day trip to Washington, DC, met with the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence yesterday. She urged “understanding” for Pakistan’s interests and emphasized Pakistan’s own security priorities in Afghanistan. She discussed with the senators how our nations can work together to bring stability there. This came the day before her government approved protests against the United States. Is this what cooperation and understanding looks like?
Prior to Khar’s arrival, Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) introduced legislation to end Pakistan’s status as a “major non-NATO ally.” Calling Pakistan “the Benedict Arnold nation in the list of countries that we call allies,” he urged the House of Representatives to reconsider our classification of the nation. This comes on the heels of Representative Rand Paul’s (R-KY) adamant call for a vote on a bill to end aid to Pakistan. Ending our ties to Pakistan should not even be a question up for debate at this point. Granting a holiday to set fire to our Embassy proves definitively that they are no ally.