Washington: An influential American Senator has moved a Congressional amendment to strip all US aid to Pakistan, Egypt and Libya, totalling about USD 4 billion per annum, and divided the fund equally for veterans jobs bill and deficit reduction programme.
Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky, who has been trying to strip Pakistan of all US aid till Dr Shakil Afridi is released from jail, made another attempt by introducing a new amendment to the veterans’ jobs bill.
"I`m not saying don`t have relations with Pakistan. Many in Pakistan have been sympathetic to our country. Many in Pakistan have helped our country. But many in Pakistan with a wink and a nod look at us, take our money and laugh at us. They cash our check and they laugh at us," Senator Paul said moving his amendment to the Veterans Jobs Bill.
"If we`re really talking about veterans’ benefits here, if we`re really serious about providing money for the veterans, let`s take it from an area which is insulting to veterans. Let`s take it from a country that insults every veteran in this country. Let`s take it from Pakistan," he said.
"In Pakistan, Shakil Afridi helped us to get Osma bin Laden. He`s been tortured, kept in prison and now been given a life sentence. I’ve asked one simple thing. I would like to have 15 minutes, have a discussion and have a vote on whether or not we should continue to send money to Pakistan. I`ve said we should send not one penny to Pakistan until this doctor is released," Paul said on the Senate floor yesterday.
"We offered at one time a USD 50 million reward for helping getting bin Laden. Young men and women sacrificed their limbs to go to Afghanistan. Many sacrificed their lives to go to Pakistan to get bin Laden. And this man who helped get bin Laden, we`re now letting him rot in a prison," he said.
"Is this how we treat a friend of America? I`ve asked for 15 minutes to have a vote. Why don`t they want to have a vote? Because they know the American people are with me. If you ask questions, should we send money to countries that don’t like us and disrespect us? Eighty percent to 90 percent of the American people are with me on this. They`re afraid to vote on this issue personally. I`ve been giving them a chance to debate this for six weeks," he said.
"We spent the whole week not having a debate because they don`t want to have a vote because they know if they vote their position, which is to send your money to Pakistan and to Egypt and to Libya, that the American people won`t like it. So they`re not willing to stand up in the broad daylight and vote to continue this aid," Paul alleged.