House votes to cut $650M in Pakistan aid

Poe's amendment passed during consideration Wednesday evening of the $608 billion defense appropriations bill, where debate on amendments continues Thursday.

Islamabad and Washington have had a tenuous relationship the past two years, after Pakistan shut down supply lines into Afghanistan for seven months.

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The supply lines, which were shut down after NATO troops killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on the Afghan-Pakistan border, re-opened last month after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton apologized for the attack.

There are still many contentious issues between the two countries, among them U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the fate of a Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA track down Osama bin Laden and was sentenced to 33 years in jail. The two sides also blame one another for allowing militant groups to easily cross the Afghan-Pakistan border to launch attacks.

The issue of Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi could further imperil U.S. aid to Pakistan, as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says he has enough votes in the Senate to end all aid to Pakistan.

“If Dr. Afridi is still in jail next week, I will force this vote,” Paul said on the floor Tuesday morning

— Pete Kasperowicz contributed.

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