Washington: A key lawmaker has introduced a bill in the House of Representatives seeking to stop all US aid to Pakistan until Shakil Afridi is set free.
Introduced by Florida Congressman Connie Mack, the bill is companion to the similar legislation introduced in the US Senate early this week, which seeks to stop US assistance to Pakistan until Afridi who assisted the CIA in capturing Osama bin Laden is set free.
"Dr Afridi, described at one time as the top medical officer in the Khyber region, chose to be a hero for the masses. In Pakistan, this decision has led to a 33-year prison sentence," Mack said.
"The legislation that I introduced today, led by Rand Paul in the Senate, forces legislators to question why we give brutal, anti-freedom Governments the people's hard-earned tax dollars. Once enacted, this bill will stop such funding for Pakistan until Afridi is freed," Mack said.
Shakil Afridi worked with the US to identify the whereabouts of the bin Laden family prior to the al Qaeda leader’s death.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has referred to his treatment as "unjust and unwarranted”, publicly stating that there is no basis for holding Afridi.
"It is time for the Government of Pakistan to fully understand that it does not enjoy a free ride with US assistance," Mack said.
First Published: Saturday, June 09, 2012, 09:57