Patrick Christys: British taxpayers' funding terrorism through our foreign aid budget

'It’s about time British taxpayers started asking serious questions about why our government funds terrorism and a succession of despotic, murderous, genocidal regimes around the world'

Published Last updated

We need to talk about Pakistan. We need to talk about how much aid we give them and what they do with that money.

Pakistan is the largest recipient of bilateral aid from UK, in 2019/20 we gave them £302m. Great, Pakistan has huge social and humanitarian issues, 22.6 million children do not go to school and half of the population, including two thirds of women, cannot read or write.

Every year 9,700 women die in childbirth. 60 million people live in poverty.

So Pakistan looks exactly like the kind of country that Britain should be supporting. There’s one fairly large problem though. Pakistan takes our money and gives it to terrorists so they can attack us.

Yep, that’s right, British taxpayers are funding terrorism in the Middle East. Big time. This is the same Pakistan that housed Osama Bin Laden for years just a few miles away from its main military base. Yes, the jihadi hide and seek world champion managed to go unnoticed and undetected by the crack team at the Pakistani Sandhurst.

That’s either high level incompetence or, you know, they were happily harbouring the world’s most infamous terrorist and the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. Pakistan is a safe haven for no less than 10 known terror groups.

So let’s do this then: Hello and welcome to Islamist Top of the Pops: In at 10 we’ve got ISIS-K.... at 9 it’s Harkat al mujahadeen....coming in at 8 is al badr Mujahadeen.... for number 7 – it’s a new entry with Jaish al Ad....6 is Sipah e sahaba....at 5, it’s jaish e Mohamed, 4 – and they’re back with a bang, it’s Lashkar e Taibar.... in at 3 it’s Lashkar e Omar. Now who’s going to be number one this week….well number 2 is – al-Qaeda which means ladies and gentlemen…yes – the Taliban have the top spot!

According to Human Rights Watch, Pakistan gives aid to the Taliban, "which include[s] soliciting funding for the Taliban, bankrolling Taliban operations, providing diplomatic support as the Taliban's virtual emissaries abroad, arranging training for Taliban fighters, recruiting skilled and unskilled manpower to serve in Taliban armies, planning and directing offensives, providing and facilitating shipments of ammunition and fuel, and on several occasions apparently directly providing combat support". Fantastic.

So, the British taxpayer has been funding both sides of our war in Afghanistan to to the tune of billions of pounds a year since goodness knows when. To break it down, when British troops were killed by Taliban fighters, you and I probably paid for that jihadi to be trained and equipped. We currently have an investigation taking place in this country to ‘re-evaluate’ our foreign aid to Pakistan.

I think we can all agree there’s not much need for re-evaluation. It just needs to stop. But that’s not the only area where our foreign aid budget is whacky to say the least. We’ve given £5.2m to the Ethiopian Spice Girls, Yegna, I think we all remember their classic breakthrough album don’t we?

Nigeria, which is set to receive £305m of British aid in 2014-15, is hoping to have its first astronauts within two years. The West African nation, where almost 70 per cent of the country's population live on less than 64p a day, already launched three satellites into orbit.

We used to give China £18m a year – there’s a genocide taking place there, mass persecution and suppression of political freedom. China is planning to build an artificial moon above Sinchuan province to increase crop production overnight. A. Second. Moon.

I think it’s about time British taxpayers started asking serious questions about why our government funds terrorism and a succession of despotic, murderous, genocidal regimes around the world when we have enough hungry children, healthcare issues, unemployed people, a mental health crisis, poor elderly care right here at home.

Stop this madness.