Sen. Paul Issues Letter to President Obama on Ending Foreign Aid to Pakistan
WASHINGTON, D.C. -Today Sen. Rand Paul issued the following letter to President Barack Obama urging a delay in the release of foreign military financing to the government of Pakistan, and to hold all aid until Dr. Shakil Afridi, informant that assisted intelligence services in identifying the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, is released.
Earlier this week, Sen. Paul announced his plans to introduce new legislation addressing Pakistan's imprisonment of Dr. Afridi and his intention to secure votes as soon as possible, when the Senate resumes next week.
Below is text of Sen. Paul and Rep. Rohrabacher's letter:
June 1, 2012
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20502
Dear President Obama,
We write to raise a matter of great importance to U.S. taxpayers and to American interests abroad. As you know, over the last several months, authorities in Pakistan have sought to bring criminal charges against Dr. Shakil Afridi, a former surgeon general in Khyber. Through the use of a door-to-door vaccination drive, Dr. Afridi bravely assisted our intelligence services in identifying the residents of the Abbottabad complex which was later confirmed to be the home of Osama bin Laden.
For his work in supporting the successful search for Osama bin Laden, Dr. Afridi deserves our appreciation. Unfortunately, the government of Pakistan has made it a point to punish Dr. Afridi for helping to expose Osama bin Laden's Pakistan hideout in the most severe manner possible. Last year, a Pakistani government commission recommended Dr. Afridi be put on trial for "high treason" and "conspiracy against the state of Pakistan," and his home was taken by government authorities. After months of investigating Dr. Afridi and after refusing to deny countless reports he was being charged with treason, Pakistan's tribal courts-which provide absolutely no transparency to their proceedings-sentenced him to 33 years in prison. These prisons are filled with radicals sympathetic to al Qaida, and they would not hesitate to harm Dr. Afridi.
In response to this situation, we will be proposing legislation to withhold all foreign assistance money to the government of Pakistan until Dr. Afridi is released. That addresses potential future aid to Pakistan. But more can and should be done right now, by your administration. Until Dr. Afridi is released from prison, we urge you to withhold all unallocated foreign assistance money for Pakistan remaining for this fiscal year. We must send a message not only to Pakistan but to any other countries seeking to use American taxpayer dollars to subsidize their subversion of America's global priorities.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.
Rand Paul, M.D. Dana Rohrabacher
United States Senator United States Representative