US Senator Rand Paul’s amendment to stop US assistance to Pakistan was blocked by Senate majority leader Senator Harry Reid on Wednesday.
Senator Paul, a member of the Tea Party, had introduced an amendment to the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 (known as the farm bill) asking for all US foreign assistance to Pakistan to cease until Dr Shakil Afridi was released and all charges against him were dropped.
While debating the farm bill in Senate, Senator Paul objected to Senate majority leader Reid’s move to ask for unanimous consent to introduce other amendments for debate. Senator Paul asked for his amendment to be debated, and said, “I don’t think we should continue to send US taxpayer money in the form of foreign aid to Pakistan when they are holding in prison a doctor who simply helped us to get (Osama) bin Laden.”
Senator Paul added that the case was a political one, which could be influenced by US actions. “I think the US taxpayers should not send money to Pakistan when Pakistan is holding this innocent man who helped us get one of the world’s most dangerous men.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2012.