At least one lawmaker has suggested that US aid to Pakistan – amounting to billions of dollars since September 11, 2001 – should be suspended until Pakistan explains why Osama bin Laden was found in a mansion located just 30 miles outside the nation’s capital.
Speaking on Fox News, Florida Representative Allen West, a Republican, said the US should “withhold the funding [to Pakistan] until we can get some questions answered.”
In a released statement, Senator Frank Lautenberg,a Democrat of New Jersey said:
“The United States provides billions of dollars in aid to Pakistan. Before we send another dime, we need to know whether Pakistan truly stands with us in the fight against terrorism. Until Congress and the American public are assured that the Pakistani government is not shielding terrorists, financial aid to Pakistan should be suspended.”
Texas Congressman Ted Poe, a Republican, has introduced the Pakistan Foreign Aid Accountability Act, which would freeze “American aid to Pakistan until it can demonstrate that it had no knowledge of Osama Bin Laden’s whereabouts.”
Speaking on The Hugh Hewitt Show, Florida Senator Marco Rubio said Pakistan needs to answer some questions about their “true intentions” and that the US relationship with Pakistan – including the provision of financial aid – needs to be reviewed.
The outpouring of backlash among US lawmakers stemmed from the facts of where bin Laden was living right before he was found and killed by US forces.
Rubio put it like this:
“I can’t repeat it enough, [but] the most wanted man in the world was living in a military neighborhood on the outskirt of [the Pakistani] capital – not in some cave somewhere.”
House Minority leader Steny Hoyer, a Democrat, said:
“This is not some cave in some strange area of the country. It was in fact in the midst of a lot of activity and one would wonder how it was possible for somebody like Osama bin Laden, one of the most infamous people in the world, to be secluded there for a long period of time without anyone knowing about it.”