Paul Proposes Cutting Pakistan Aid to Help Release bin Laden Informant
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., plans to introduce legislation to cut all aid to Pakistan until the foreign country releases a physician who assisted the U.S. in killing Osama bin Laden.
According to reports, Dr. Shakil Afridi worked with U.S. intelligence officials to run a number of a fake hepatitis B vaccine programs in order to prove the terrorist leader lived in the Abbottabad compound.
Last week, a Pakistani court sentenced Afridi to 33 years in prison for treason under tribal law.
"Pakistan must understand that they are choosing the wrong side. They accuse Dr. Afridi of working against Pakistan, but he was simply helping the U.S. capture the head of al Qaida. Surely Pakistan is not linking their interests with those of an international terrorist organization," Paul said in a statement.
Paul will propose two bills, the first would cut funding to Pakistan until Afridi is freed and another measure would grant him U.S. citizenship. He added that all foreign aid "has been an abysmal failure precisely for this reason" and must end.
Lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee voted last week to cut $33 million in funding to Pakistan over the Afridi sentencing. But Paul argues the U.S. should withhold all of its foreign assistance to the country.