Congressman urges ceasing all foreign aid to Pakistan

A first time Congressman from Florida has urged to end all US aid to Pakistan arguing that it is impossible to believe that al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was hiding so close to Islamabad without any support infrastructure.

Updated: May 04, 2011, 12:23 PM IST

Washington: A first time Congressman from
Florida has urged his colleagues to end all US aid to Pakistan
arguing that it is impossible to believe that al-Qaeda chief
Osama bin Laden was hiding so close to Islamabad without any
support infrastructure.

"It is quite disturbing that this revelation comes on
the heels of Pakistan`s President admonishing (Afghan
President) Hamid Karzai to not support long term security
agreement with the United States.
I served in Afghanistan for 2 1/2 years and familiar
with the sanctuary being provided to Islamic terrorists in
Pakistan. Many believe the central headquarters of the
Taliban, and Mullah Omar, are located in Quetta, Pakistan,"
Congressman Allen West said.

"As you begin to prepare the State, Foreign
Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations bill for
Fiscal Year 2012, I hope the Subcommittee will look into these
very important issues and make a determination to end all
foreign aid to the Government of Pakistan," he said in a
letter to Kay Granger, Chairwoman, Subcommittee on State,
Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Committee on
Appropriations.

"I, like many Americans, thought Osama bin Laden may
be located in an isolated hidden place in the mountains of
Pakistan`s tribal northwest in a location of approximately
28,000 square miles where the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaida
fighters are known to exist. An area that would have made it
very difficult to locate any individual, especially the most
wanted terrorist in the world," he said.

However, one now learns that Osama bin Laden was
living in a million dollar compound which was custom-built in
2005 in Abbottabad in north-west Pakistan.

The heavily fortified compound, with 11- to 18-foot
walls topped by barbed wire, is only a few hundred yards from
the Pakistan Military Academy, described as Pakistan`s West
Point.

The city, Abbottabad, is home to Pakistan Army 2nd
Division, and is a cantonment under government control, and is
located 75 miles from the Pakistan Capital of Islamabad, he
said.

"It is not unreasonable for the American people to
question if Osama bin Laden was located on government
controlled land, next to a military academy, and so close to
the nation`s Capital.
What real assistance was the Pakistan Government
providing for the last 10 years to locate the al-Qaeda leader
and bring him to justice?" West said.

"Since the September 11th terrorist attack, the United
States Government has provided an estimated USD 20 billion of
assistance to the Government of Pakistan.

Questions are arising on whether the Government of
Pakistan may have aided and abetted this most wanted
international terrorist," he said.

"I think it is quite clear that unless we get a clear
explanation of what the Government of Pakistan knew about the
whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, all foreign aid from American
taxpayers to this nation needs to cease.

We need to understand whether the Government of
Pakistan was harboring Osama bin Laden for all these years.

Further, did the Government of Pakistan always know
where this terrorist was but instead did not want to bring him
to justice in order to continue to receive foreign aid from
the United States of America," West said.

PTI