Washington: A US lawmaker has said he will move an amendment to the National Defence Authorization Act to prohibit military aid to Pakistan until it releases the doctor who had helped the CIA track al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
"Pakistan held a sham trial that put Dr (Shakeel) Afridi away for 33 years. He has been tortured and has already spent over two years of his life in prison. Dr Afridi is a hero and we shouldn`t be sending tax payer dollars to his jail keepers," Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said.
Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats, Rohrabacher has had unsuccessfully moved several similar resolutions in the past.
"There is no doubt whose side Pakistan`s leaders are on, their actions could not speak louder. Pakistan actively funds and directs terrorist organisations who murder American soldiers and civilians in Afghanistan and India. All Americans owe Dr Afridi a debt of gratitude; it is time we honor that," he said.
Rohrabacher is also offering an amendment that would ensure Pakistan is not using its military or any funds or equipment provided by the United States to persecute minority groups for their legitimate and nonviolent political and religious beliefs, including the Balochi, Sindhi, and Hazara ethnic groups and minority religious groups, including Christian, Hindu, and Ahmadiyya Muslim.
The US has spent roughly $25 billion on aid to Pakistan since 2001 and this year`s National Defence Authorization Act authorizes another $1.5 billion fund.