Does the United States have an obligation to help the doctor who is now in jail for helping the CIA find Usama bin Laden? Should we withhold the billions in aid we give Pakistan every year if they won't comply?
According to several news organizations, the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA locate Usama bin Laden has been sent to prison.
The New York Times reports ?[a] tribal court sentenced Shakil Afrid to 33 years in jail and fined him $3,500?.?
?Outrageous,? declared Heritage Foundation analyst Lisa Curtis who has been following the US-Pakistani relationship closely for many years. ?Pakistan should be finding and prosecuting the individuals who helped harbor bin laden all of those years NOT the people who helped us track the world?s most wanted terrorist.?
This outrage is particularly galling coming on the heels of the debacle at the NATO summit in Chicago. President Obama decided to play nice and engineered a last minute invitation to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari.
The White House had hoped to use the occasion to trumpet an agreement to reopen the supply lines into Afghanistan, but at the last minute the Pakistanis decided to up the price and reportedly demand up to a thirty fold increase in transit fees.
The U.S. balked.
Nothing happened, and Obama looked pretty silly.
These slights would not be so serious if they did not come at the end of long list of gripes.
Pakistan has done little to rein in the Al Qaeda affiliates in the country who not only keep bin Laden?s dream alive, but organize attacks to kill Americans in Afghanistan. Further, Pakistan still can?t explain why their country is the preferred vacation destination for high-level Taliban leaders.
Rather than make amends for bad behavior, Pakistan is demanding more from the U.S. while it delivers less and less.
If President Obama is serious about leaving Afghanistan and not having the whole thing melt down in a bloody mess, he is going to have to get Pakistan to become a constructive regional player. That won?t happen if Islamabad thinks it can continue to play Washington for a patsy.
President Obama will have to go to the mat for Shakil Afrid and his family?and not just because it is the right thing to do. If America lets this insult and injustice stand, where will it all end?