Senator seeks support for bill to cut all US aid to Pakistan

Senator seeks support for bill to cut all US aid to Pakistan

A top American Senator has written to members of the US House of Representatives for their support in passing a bill which seeks to cut all American aid to Pakistan.

Senator Rand Paul, in his 'Dear Colleague' letter written yesterday, urged members to pass the bill which seeks to cut all foreign aid to any country that "fails to secure" US embassies.

The bill also demands financial accountability from countries like Pakistan, Egypt and Libya, which recently saw violence directed against US embassies.

Paul's move came within hours of Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar's arrival in Washington to hold talks with US officials and lawmakers.

Paul, the Senator from Kentucky, issued a similar letter to his colleagues in the Senate, underlining his intention to obstruct any pending legislation until the Senate addresses these matters.

"This week is likely our last chance to address the ongoing violence, to promote security at our diplomatic facilities, and to take appropriate steps to ensure cooperation from the governments of Pakistan, Egypt and Libya," Paul said in his letter.

"First, we must demand accountability from the government of Pakistan, which receives over USD 3 billion from us every year, yet routinely plays both sides of some of the most important issues while openly thwarting our objectives in the region," he wrote.

"They should be subject to the same conditions applied to Egypt, Libya, and the others," Paul wrote seeking release of Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who has been found guilty of treason for helping CIA track Osama bin Laden.

"Dr Afridi remains under arrest for his role in finding bin Laden, and no country that arrests a man for helping to find bin Laden is an ally of the US. If Pakistan wants to be our ally and receive foreign aid for being one, then they should act like it, and they must start by releasing Dr Afridi," Paul said.

As this is likely to be the final week of legislative session for both the House and Senate before an extended recess, Paul urged the lawmakers to take immediate action to pass the bill.

"The bill should send a strong clear message to these entities that you do not get foreign aid unless you are an unwavering ally of the US," he argued.

Paul said the US must ensure that unless there is full cooperation in bringing the attackers on embassies to justice, no foreign aid will be provided in the future.

"We must insist that any country which expects assistance from the US cannot permit the growth and influence of violent ideologies within their borders, especially when the practitioners of these ideologies are intent on murdering our diplomatic personnel abroad," he wrote, seeking full investigation into the cases of recent attacks.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox