A Senate panel expressed its outrage over Pakistan's conviction of a doctor who helped the United States track down Osama bin Laden, voting to cut aid to Islamabad by $33 million—$1 million for every year of the physician's 33-year sentence for high treason. The punitive move came on top of deep reductions the Appropriations Committee already had made to President Barack Obama's budget request for Pakistan, a reflection of growing congressional anger.
The overall foreign aid budget for next year had slashed more than half of the proposed assistance and threatened further reductions if Islamabad fails to open overland supply routes to US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan. "We need Pakistan, Pakistan needs us, but we don't need Pakistan double-dealing," said Sen. Lindsey Graham. The Appropriations Committee approved Graham's amendment to cut the assistance by $33 million on a 30-0 vote. The full Senate will vote on the overall bill, possibly this summer.