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

{mosads}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.

Tags Hillary Clinton Rand Paul

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