US Senator blocked from adding Pakistan aid cut provision
WASHINGTON: US Senator Paul Rand was blocked from attaching an amendment to the farm bill that would withhold US aid to Pakistan.
The amendment would have defunded US aid to Pakistan until the country frees an imprisoned doctor, who worked for CIA in hunt for al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
In a difficult and volatile climate against Pakistan in the US Congress – getting worse each day with the Nato supply lines lying closed – this was seen as a very challenging task for the Pakistani Embassy here in Washington.
The Pakistani ambassador had been seen on the Capitol Hill all week, lobbying non-stop with American senators and staffers, yet even getting the amendment blocked on grounds of relevance was an uphill task.
Ambassador Sherry Rehman and her senior colleagues were seen thanking all those who assisted behind-the-scenes in getting this important amendment blocked.
A Senate staffer who had been working closely with the Embassy said it is important to note that after July, when the election campaign goes into full gear, many more such amendments are expected, and will be practically impossible to block or defeat once they get tacked on to foreign assistance clauses.
Despite what we or the Embassy says here, the mood against Pakistan is getting very negative over the last seven months. Right now, we were able to help Pakistan because the amendments could be knocked out for technical clauses, and Ambassador Rehman has left no stone unturned there!