In addition to pending legislation that would freeze aid to Pakistan until it frees a doctor who aided U.S. forces in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, two lawmakers have directly asked President Obama to stop funding Islamabad.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who will be introducing the Senate bills that would also make Shakil Afridi a U.S. citizen, wrote Obama along with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), who is leading a similar fight in the House.
Rohrabacher, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has called Pakistan’s 33-year treason sentence imposed on Afridi “decisive proof Pakistan sees itself as being at war with us.”
“There is no shared interest against Islamic terrorism,” Rohrabacher said. “On 9/11, Pakistan was coordinating the efforts of the Taliban who were in league with Osama Bin Laden. In 2012, Pakistan is still working very closely with the Taliban, whose leader Mullah Omar was plotting with Bin Laden right up until he was killed, according to documents taken from bin Laden’s Pakistan home. Pakistan was and remains a terrorist state.”
The lawmakers told Obama that Afridi “deserves our appreciation,” and is in danger as he’s being jailed in facilities “filled with radicals sympathetic to al Qaida” who wouldn’t hesitate to harm the doctor.
“In response to this situation, we will be proposing legislation to withhold all foreign assistance money to the government of Pakistan until Dr. Afridi is released. That addresses potential future aid to Pakistan. But more can and should be done right now, by your administration,” Paul and Rohrabacher wrote.
“Until Dr. Afridi is released from prison, we urge you to withhold all unallocated foreign assistance money for Pakistan remaining for this fiscal year. We must send a message not only to Pakistan but to any other countries seeking to use American taxpayer dollars to subsidize their subversion of America’s global priorities.”