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Senators protest conviction of Pakistani doctor; cut aid

 
 
Reply Thu 24 May, 2012 05:53 pm

May 24, 2012, 3:30 p.m.
WASHINGTON -- In response to the conviction in a Pakistani court of the doctor who helped the United States track down Osama bin Laden, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted Thursday to cut aid to Pakistanby by $1 million for every year of the doctor’s sentence.

http://www.trbimg.com/img-4fbeb7f5/turbine/la-senate-panel-protests-conviction-of-doctor--001/600
Shakeel Afridi, the doctor who sought to collect DNA to help verify for the CIA that bin Laden was at a compound in Abbottabad, was convicted of high treason and sentenced to 33 years in prison.

The committee agreed by a vote of 30-0 to cut $33 million in aid to Pakistan, according to the Associated Press. It was a symbolic gesture that reflects growing frustration with the country, which is technically considered an ally to the United States.

The cut was pushed by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who called Pakistan a “schizophrenic ally” and said the U.S. “[doesn’t] need Pakistan double-dealing and not seeing the justice in bringing Osama bin Laden to an end."

The committee had already slashed Obama’s request for aid to Pakistan by 58% and threatened deeper cuts if the country failed to open supply routes to U.S.-led NATO forces in Afghanistan. Pakistan closed those routes after a U.S. attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) insisted that Afridi was not a spy and said Pakistan appeared to have misconstrued the meaning of treason.

“This conviction says to me that al Qaeda is viewed by the court to be Pakistan," Feinstein said.


http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-senate-panel-protests-conviction-of-doctor-who-helped-find-bin-laden-20120524,0,3050657.story

Who needs enemies when we have "friendly" allies like Pakistan? Comments?
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 May, 2012 06:41 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Myself, I couldn't believe it when the story was first reported that the Pakistanis had actually arrested this doctor to bring him to trial for aiding in the capture of a wanted war criminal. Excuse me? Whose side are the Pakis supposed to be on?
the prince
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 May, 2012 06:45 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
The government has to walk a very fine line due to domestic compulsions. I won't be surprised if the jailed doctor is living in luxury and will be quietly released once the furore has died down.

(and as an Indian, I have no love lost with Pakistan as a country, but this is my pragmatic view)
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 May, 2012 07:14 pm
@the prince,
So happy to hear from someone who's familiar first-hand with the local conditions.

What I don't quite understand from the story is whether the Senate committee voted to with-hold $33 Million (US) lump sum in foreign military aid, or whether it will be $1 million per annum until the doctor's release from prison. Sounds like a pretty empty symbolic gesture actually.
the prince
 
  3  
Reply Thu 24 May, 2012 07:20 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
In any case, 33m is a small amount compared to the overall number US pumps into Pakistan (officially and unofficially)

Plus the fact that most of the aid never reaches the people anyways.

This is a dry hump rather than an actual f**k if you know what I mean Smile
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 May, 2012 07:21 pm
@the prince,
Yup. Know what you mean, indeed.
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 May, 2012 08:41 pm
@the prince,
the prince wrote:

This is a dry hump rather than an actual f**k if you know what I mean Smile


I think this metaphor would have more meaning if it were two camels talking.
0 Replies
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 May, 2012 08:46 pm
Reading the follow-up story today, I gather the Senate committee voted to cut a total of $33 million from the aid it gives Pakistan. Dropin the bucket, I'm sure.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 May, 2012 08:48 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
I heard about that....was the conviction for taking the DNA?
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 May, 2012 08:50 pm
@the prince,
the prince wrote:

The government has to walk a very fine line due to domestic compulsions. I won't be surprised if the jailed doctor is living in luxury and will be quietly released once the furore has died down.

(and as an Indian, I have no love lost with Pakistan as a country, but this is my pragmatic view)


That's interesting....they do indeed have a wafer thin line to walk. Sigh.
0 Replies
 
Lustig Andrei
 
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Reply Fri 25 May, 2012 08:53 pm
@dlowan,
Apparently. He was running a DNA-collection program for the CIA. As a result of his activities in Abbottabad he was able to confirm binLaden's presence there. So, for this, he wasbrought to trial on a charge of high treason?
0 Replies
 
 

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