U.S. lawmaker to delay vote on bill linking aid to 'Osama doc' Afridi's release
Washington, July 25 (ANI): U.S. Senator Rand Paul has announced he will delay voting on a bill until after Ramzan that aims to cut all U.S. assistance to Pakistan if Dr Shakil Afridi is not released.
Senator Paul's decision came after the hearing of Dr Afridi's appeal was rescheduled to August 30, after the month of Ramzan.
Paul said he too would delay his vote for a month, to see if the appeal works, to see if he is still safe in one month, reports The Express Tribune.
Senator Paul vowed that despite the decision to defer the voting on the bill, it will not be swept under the carpet.
I have a bill and I have the votes necessary to demand a vote in the Senate, no matter what the leadership wants, we will have a vote on ending all of Pakistan's aid, if this political prisoner, Dr Shakil Afridi, is not released, Senator Paul was quoted, as saying.
Dr Afridi was sentenced to 33 years in prison by a Pakistan court after he was found 'guilty' of helping the CIA track down Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in the garrison town of Abbottabad.
Imprisoning the man that helped us get one of the world's worst mass murders is not a way to encourage cooperation between our countries. This episode of imprisoning this man is driving a wedge between America and Pakistan, he said.
Senator Paul added that he would push for a vote on his bill in late August or in early September.
I hope some common sense will intervene and they will let him go, but at the very least Americans need to know that Pakistan needs to cooperate with us, Pakistan needs to help this man, and that we all should be proud of what he did to help us get Bin Laden, he added. (ANI)