Senators vote to reduce aid to Islamabad by $33mn in retaliation against jailing of doctor who helped find bin Laden.
US senators outraged by Pakistan’s jailing of a doctor for helping the CIA track down Osama bin Laden have voted to cut aid to Islamabad by $33mn – one million for each year in the doctor’s sentence.
“It’s arbitrary, but the hope is that Pakistan will realise we are serious,” said Senator Richard Durbin after the unanimous 30-0 vote by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday.
“It’s outrageous that they [the Pakistanis] would say a man who helped us find Osama bin Laden is a traitor,” said Durbin, the senate’s number two Democrat.
The Senate Armed Services Committee later passed a measure that could lead to even deeper cuts in aid.
The sentencing on Wednesday of Dr Shakil Afridi for 33 years on treason charges added to US frustrations with Pakistan over what Washington sees as its reluctance to help combat Islamist militants fighting the Afghan government and the closure of supply routes to NATO troops in Afghanistan.