US senator proposes suspending all Pakistan aid

By AFP
Published: May 30, 2012

"Pakistan must understand that they are choosing the wrong side," said Paul. PHOTO: PAUL.SENATE.GOV

WASHINGTON: A conservative senator called Tuesday for the United States to suspend all aid to Pakistan and grant citizenship to a doctor who was jailed for helping hunt down Osama bin Laden.

American lawmakers have already sought to cut or freeze some assistance to Pakistan, the third largest recipient of US aid, after a tribal court last week sentenced CIA recruit Shakeel Afridi to 33 years in prison on treason charges.

Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky and leader of the Tea Party movement, proposed going further by ending all aid to Pakistan until Afridi’s sentence is overturned and also granting the doctor US citizenship.

“Pakistan must understand that they are choosing the wrong side,” said Paul, who pledged to introduce the bill when the Senate returns to session next week.

“They accuse Dr Afridi of working against Pakistan, but he was simply helping the US capture the head of al Qaeda. Surely Pakistan is not linking their interests with those of an international terrorist organisation,” Paul said in a statement.

The US Constitution under Article 1 gives Congress the right to set a “uniform rule of naturalisation,” but it is unusual in modern times for lawmakers to consider citizenship for individuals other than honorary titles.

The United States claims to have provided more than $18 billion to Pakistan since the September 11, 2001 attacks when Islamabad agreed to turn against Afghanistan’s Taliban and back the US war effort. Most of that has been in as part of the Coalition Support Fund which aims to boost Pakistani capabilities to combat militants on its own soil.

But US officials fear that some elements of Pakistan’s powerful military and intelligence services still support extremists – some quarters believe that these elements had aided Osama bin Laden hide in Abbottabad. Pakistan denies officials in commanding positions in both, the civilian government or the military knew of bin Laden’s whereabouts till the raid.

Leading members of both major US parties supported a 2009 bill that authorised $1.5 billion a year to Pakistan to promote civilian infrastructure and democratic institutions in the nuclear-armed nation.

US President Barack Obama, a Democrat, has also voiced impatience with Pakistan. He refused to hold substantive talks with President Asif Ali Zardari at a recent NATO summit in Chicago as Pakistan has not reopened its border with neighboring Afghanistan, stopping supplies from reaching international troops.

Pakistan had shut its borders after a Nato raid on a border checkpost left 24 Pakistani soldiers dead, and another 26 injured in November last year. This year, after a parliamentary review, Pakistan subjected the reopening of the supply lines to a high level unconditional apology from the US, and cease drone strikes within its territories. Negotiations between US and Pakistan have also been stuck over the narrow point of new tariffs Pakistan wants to impose on Nato cargo utilising its ports and highways.

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Reader Comments (61)

  • Batman
    May 30, 2012 - 4:14AM

    Are these senators or clowns? They come up with childish statements every other day

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  • May 30, 2012 - 4:30AM

    If US Senator Rand Paul’s proposal to cut all aid to Pakistan was put into affect, it would most probably backfire. Majority of 180 million Pakistanis do NOT want any US aid money. Why? Because very little money ever reaches Pakistan in a way that common man sees its benefit. Most of the US aid money ends up as US contractors or NGOs expenses or administrative costs. At the same time in return for this over hyped US aid, Pakistan looses billions and billions in damage to roads, infrastructure and much more.

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  • Its (still) Econonmy Stupid
    May 30, 2012 - 4:49AM

    With all aid cut there will be more common between Greece and Pakistan than just visit of Alexander the great.

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  • DB
    May 30, 2012 - 4:53AM

    Please do give Shakil Afridi not only citizenship but Medal of Honour. Also give him employment as a doctor. I’m sure there will be a long line of Americans wanted to get treated by this “doctor”.

    As for suspending aid, yes, please, Pakistanis are for it, even if our leaders are begging for more aid.

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  • 1stResponder
    May 30, 2012 - 4:58AM

    i wish pakistan would cut all ties with the usa gov. if you need aid, can’t you get it from russia or china? america is being overtaken by an epidemic of lunacy.

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  • Political Analyst
    May 30, 2012 - 5:02AM

    Go for it mate …. you will do pakistan a huge favor :)

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  • Zamir Malik
    May 30, 2012 - 5:33AM

    America have one of the biggest embassies in Pakistan with more than 1000 staff members to control Pak Government and along with it this Aid is actually a way of Pampering our corrupt Politicians and generals of Pakistan. This aid never reached masses as this aid is not for them. Ordinary Pakistanis will be more than happy when Americans will pack their bags and go home and will have diplomatic staff of less than 50 in Pakistan and by stopping this aid Pakistan could see a Better future as then Our leaders will have to get dictation from general public rather than from a foreign country and it will be a first step to break the shackles of slavery and also it will Nourish our Democratic system..

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  • Ali
    May 30, 2012 - 5:41AM

    US does have some brilliant politicians, and I thought only we have them.

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  • PakArmySoldier
    May 30, 2012 - 5:43AM

    Now, now, let’s not get our panties in a bunch here. Sen. Rand Paul, son of Ron Paul I might add, also proposed to cut all aid to Israel. That failed miserably, as I believe this might as well.

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  • SM
    May 30, 2012 - 6:16AM

    Thank you. We do not need your aid.

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  • Babloo
    May 30, 2012 - 6:45AM

    Dont just propose. Do it.

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  • Rajendra Kalkhande
    May 30, 2012 - 6:55AM

    Ideal of course would be that Pakistan learns to live without handouts. It will surely help in developing good Indo-Pak relations. Free American money contributed a great deal in spoiling our relations. I remember Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s poem which he wrote in 50s on American-Pakistan relations. Every word of Mr Vajpayee is coming true. Pakistan has to stop living not only on American money but on Saudi and Chinese handouts as well.

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  • Parvez Amin
    May 30, 2012 - 6:56AM

    What will it take to get you to do what you say? Cut off the aid and leave Pakistan – forever.

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  • Knotty
    May 30, 2012 - 6:58AM

    Thank God!
    .
    Good riddance! We never received that money anyway… don’t know who America has been giving billions in our name!

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  • pakistanibaloch
    May 30, 2012 - 7:10AM

    that will be great for us but not for government .we actually want this

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  • Maulana FU
    May 30, 2012 - 7:23AM

    I call upon all ghairatmand Pakistanis to let their government know that accepting aid from the US is un-Islamic. As the late martyred Zulfi Bhutto proclaimed, Pakistanis will eat grass. With recent floods and heavy rains, there should not be any shortage of greens, a national resource.

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  • Imran Con
    May 30, 2012 - 7:32AM

    @PakArmySoldier:
    You’re probably right. Most Pakistanis react in a comical manner through assumptions that because we both have a democracy that it still works the same way. Far from it.
    90% of senator and congressional talk amounts to a personal opinion turned failure at the end of the day. Many Pakistanis, especially on here, just don’t know the basic concept of rational and informed restraint.
    It makes them look really whiny and dramatic. It’s hard to take actual concerns seriously when even the small and probably irrelevant things get the same reaction.

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  • ayesha_khan
    May 30, 2012 - 7:36AM

    @Pervaiz Lodhie: “Why? Because very little money ever reaches Pakistan in a way that common man sees its benefit.”

    A lot of the aid is military aid i.e. free weaopns for your military and hence you do not see the benefit. If they stopped providing the free weapons, your army would have to pay for them and that would cut development spending (education, health, electricity etc.) even further.

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  • Tariq Ahmad
    May 30, 2012 - 7:43AM

    @Pervaiz Lodhie:
    than you should write to US Senators asking them to cut off all aid.

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  • Tariq Ahmad
    May 30, 2012 - 7:45AM

    Pakistan does not need any foreign aid from the US or anyone else in the West. It does not need IMF or World Bank. It can live off the billions that its politicians have hidden and the millions that the responders above will move to Pakistan all in order to support the homeland. Talk is cheap, put your money where your mouth is.

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  • kaalchakra
    May 30, 2012 - 7:51AM

    These US senators are jokers. They don’t understand pakistanis. pakistan should build intercontinetal missile and teach lesson to these stupid people.

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  • Nikarish
    May 30, 2012 - 8:20AM

    Cit all aid and pak rupee will reach 120 ruupees.

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  • curious
    May 30, 2012 - 8:36AM

    Pakistan as a country does not need USAID. It only aids the lifestyle of the corruptible elite who control the country.

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  • John B
    May 30, 2012 - 8:53AM

    Sitting overseas US aid to PAK may mean nothing to you guys but PAK govt and millions of people are dependent on it.

    The entrance of Sen. Rand Paul is interesting. He represents the conservative wing of republicans and he could rattle the stick a bit, big time.

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  • Saqib
    May 30, 2012 - 9:11AM

    ohhh I wish this would be the best thing USA can do for Pakistan please stop all AID.

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  • May 30, 2012 - 9:18AM

    I hope this time this statement works out and we learn a lesson

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  • ijazmir
    May 30, 2012 - 9:18AM

    I do not think any one in Pakistan is worried about the proposal of Sen.Rand Paul proposal. There are lot of things involve and depend on this aid. I am worried this years flood fore cost,as last winter it was heavy snow, now we must brace for big flood season.
    This time there will be no aid from any body,everyone knows Why?

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  • Insomniac
    May 30, 2012 - 10:05AM

    Agreed 100% with the senator. After when will we stop depending on western nations. Now let’s see which brother Arab country replaces US.!!!

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  • Basit
    May 30, 2012 - 10:17AM

    @ayesha_khan:
    Other than F-16, which I admit is a big deal for PAF, but useless as they will never be used, what other big weapon systems have the military gotten from US aid that we cannot live without? Especially the army? Most of the military aid is used for bogus training programs by US contractors. Only some go to actual weapon systems.

    Even the Iraqis kicked out US trainers for giving them useless powerpoint presentations that helped no one but their pockets.

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  • Noor
    May 30, 2012 - 10:24AM

    @Rajendra Kalkhande:
    though we belong to adverse states, I principally agree with you; this is the way to live respectfully & with freedom.

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  • Noor
    May 30, 2012 - 10:27AM

    Just DO it!

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  • Parvez Amin
    May 30, 2012 - 10:49AM

    @John B:
    He can stick his bg stick. :) and cut off the aid for at least 50000 years. Bonehead.

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  • Anonymous
    May 30, 2012 - 11:09AM

    Good to read all the comments…

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  • Shyam
    May 30, 2012 - 11:30AM

    @kaalchakra
    pakistan should build intercontinetal missile and teach lesson to these stupid people.

    If things gets any worse, US can send one over to you by airmail

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  • faraz
    May 30, 2012 - 11:49AM

    Now tell me, who is who’s enemy?

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  • AZ
    May 30, 2012 - 11:55AM

    They cannot cut ties with Pakistan because of its signifcant strategic location. Simple.

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  • truemomeen
    May 30, 2012 - 12:13PM

    people here cry that “good this will do great ” etc ………but can anyone tell me what do they make/export to feed military judiciary government workers?to run even a super corrupt government you need money ! USA and PAKISTANI head of state[GHQ] know that Pakistani does not have power to exist w/o foreign aid and will break into small talibani provinces .which both don’t want . it’s a mutual benefit for now but as the pressure is growing from us taxpayers it will eventually be ended or precisely be made negligible.

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  • Zuhair
    May 30, 2012 - 12:17PM

    Please go ahead and suspend the aid!

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  • Nas
    May 30, 2012 - 12:52PM

    Cant blame them as Pakistan still plays the double game

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  • Nadeem
    May 30, 2012 - 1:01PM

    Make it happen, PLEASE !

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  • Pashtun voice
    May 30, 2012 - 1:14PM

    @Basit….Please do some research on Iraq. They have purchased $16BILLION of weapons from the US. The $1 Trilllion that the US spent on Iraq and Afghanistan will be paid back.

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  • Ajay
    May 30, 2012 - 2:49PM

    @DB: It is not just your leaders but army too which is begging. Every civilian political decision is military decision as well as Kayani is involved in everything. Kayan does not want to rock the boat at this time. It will much simpler to protect NATO trucks, clean out Waziristan, pay salaries & perks as usual to all army, achieve peace with US & INdia. The flip side is army dissatisfaction from funds shortage, price increases, people’s disenchantment with Army, IMF stoppage, World wide ostraicization/isolation and other unknown problems. Time is coming when all nations will have to hand over their nuclear weapons and material to UN. Pakistan’s advantage will also be gone then. They will be saddled with outdated US military equipment minus the spares.

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  • Parvez
    May 30, 2012 - 3:34PM

    Aid always has to be paid back. The rules take the aid and the people have to pay it back.

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  • Kazim Munir
    May 30, 2012 - 3:54PM

    Please please please – do it asap!

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  • changezi
    May 30, 2012 - 7:17PM

    I will pray in Makkah if they do this favor to us.

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  • Harry Stone
    May 30, 2012 - 8:22PM

    It will happen

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  • MNG
    May 30, 2012 - 11:55PM

    I think Dr Shakil should be given death sentence for treason as he spied for a foreign intelligence agency against his own country.

    How will USA react if some foreign agency did the same in USA

    Second is US understanding of an issue larger than our sovereignty; surely not hence it is time either US respects its relationship with Pakistan as equals or says Good Bye.

    It would be a great favour Uncle Sam

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  • interpak
    May 31, 2012 - 12:07AM

    @Pervaiz Lodhie:
    Tell that to your military and politicians who always whine and cry how much Pakistan has done for anti-terrorism efforts, and beg for alms. Pakistan’s economy is zero! Its standing outside the country is worse than that of Syria or even Sudan. It is a question not of “if” but of “when” the country will break up. Islam, a peaceful religion by itself, is not a glue that can hold together a corrupt, badly-governed and, essentially, barbaric state. You saw what happened to East Pakistan — the Bangledeshis abhor that term — and what is happening today inside your country. If you can, just talk to any foreign investor and you will be told in a no-holds-barred manner about Pakistan. Without money and revenue, how is the state going to run? A large majority of Pakistanis do not pay taxes, so the state has to beg for outside money.

    @Batman — the clowns are not the US senators; the clowns are in your own backyard in the form of your corrupt politicians, military men, the hate-mongering mullahs and, generally, your attitude. You must have woken up as a Rip van Winkle from a stone-age dream.

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  • infidel
    May 31, 2012 - 12:37AM

    ghairatmand pakistanis do not realize who going to finance their budget and trade deficits if us aid is suspended rand paul is great person like his father and has done right thing.

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  • Saadia
    May 31, 2012 - 1:13AM

    US finally do us a favor and cut all aid to Pakistan as its not aid its actually aids what you are sending to Pakistan.

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  • Saleem
    May 31, 2012 - 2:12AM

    The “land of the pure” has grown on aid. It will not survive a few months without aid. Hollow slogans do not fill the stomach, or pay for health, education, etc, etc. The economy which is already in shambles will collapse within months of a cut in aid and it will be worse than AIDS for the country.

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  • andleeb
    May 31, 2012 - 3:10AM

    As long as we have nuclear weapons, the world will continue to give as much aid as we want. We can tell the americans, no thank you.

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  • gp65
    May 31, 2012 - 3:35AM

    @faraz: “Now tell me, who is who’s enemy?”

    Not giving aid means someone is your enemey? US does not give any aid to India either. That does not make US India’s enemy.

    The aid was in lieu of Pakistan’s support for Global war on terror. There were 2 parts to it:
    – NATO supply routes (which it has stopped)
    – Denial of safe havens to Afghan Taliban and HAqqanis (something Pakistan used to claim it will deliver but not actually deliver. Now it has stopped claiming this).

    So if the senator makes this proposal (which by the way has not been approved) why do you call that as enmity?

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  • Salman Sheikh
    May 31, 2012 - 10:28AM

    These senators are just malign Pakistan for their political gain and planning for next election

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  • Basit
    May 31, 2012 - 11:08AM

    @Pashtun voice:
    The Iraqis under occupation didn’t have any choice but to “purchase” American equipment. Unless you’re saying Pakistan too should act like an occupied country.

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  • MNG
    May 31, 2012 - 12:47PM

    I think Mr Shakil Afridi deserves death sentence as he has spied for a foreign intelligence agency within his country

    As a man of conscious he should have immediately approached own police and informed them that CIA was offering him money for such a project

    But no he preferred pocketing US Dollars over national duty

    By the way why does FBI arrests US citizens for cooperating with foreign intelligence agencies

    Second will US allow such an arrangement within USA against say Mr George Bush Junior who initiated the last Iraq and Afghan Wars in which hundreds of thousands people got killed

    World is changing and US dominance is receding so please start respecting other nations

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  • Aftab
    May 31, 2012 - 1:22PM

    It’s a brilliant idea, hope it is followed through and implemented. Imran Khan is the only who can fix this failed state.

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  • Omar
    May 31, 2012 - 4:09PM

    Pakistan should learn the lesson for playing double role. The US and civilised world should put an end to this support which indirectly goes to Taliban and Alqaeda.

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  • Lala Gee
    May 31, 2012 - 7:14PM

    “The United States claims to have provided more than $18 billion to Pakistan since the September 11, 2001 attacks”

    How these $18 billion compensate the loss of 40,000 lives and $70 billion in lost economic opportunities?

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  • Kanwal
    Jun 1, 2012 - 1:05AM

    Great! so how soon we stop recieving the checks? Trust me, you will do the common pakistani a huge favor.

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  • 1984
    Jun 1, 2012 - 1:42AM

    @Lala Gee:
    How these $18 billion compensate the loss of 40,000 lives and $70 billion in lost economic opportunities?

    Who asked you to participate in the War on Terror?? There are many countries who have been neutral.

    @faraz:
    Now tell me, who is who’s enemy?

    If you dont put money to a roadside beggar.That doesnt mean you’re his enemy….Its your money and just because the beggar is hungry doesnt mean you have to give to him

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