Fox News is reporting today that Dr Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped the United States in the raid on Osama Bin Laden has been sentenced to 33 years in prison on Wednesday for conspiring against the state.
The article reports:
Shakil Afridi ran a vaccination program for the CIA to collect DNA and verify bin Laden’s presence at the compound in the town of Abbottabad where U.S. commandos killed the Al Qaeda chief last May in a unilateral raid. The operation outraged Pakistani officials, who portrayed it as an act of treachery by a supposed ally.
Wait a minute. Hasn’t the President been claiming all along that we were never sure that Osama Bin Laden was actually in the compound?
The article at Fox News reminds us:
On Tuesday, a Senate panel approved a foreign aid budget for next year that slashes U.S. assistance to Pakistan by more than half and threatens further reductions if it fails to open the NATO supply routes.
American lawmakers are also frustrated by suspicions that Pakistan is aiding militants who use its territory to attack U.S. troops in Afghanistan — allegations Islamabad has rejected. There is also lingering resentment over the fact that bin Laden was found hiding deep inside Pakistan.
But the U.S. cannot afford to turn its back on Pakistan entirely.
Pakistan is seen as vital to negotiating a peace deal with the Afghan Taliban and their allies given the country’s historical ties with the militants.
The Pakistani government is also keen to repair relations with the U.S., partly to receive over a billion dollars in American aid it needs to fill out its budget as it looks ahead to national elections scheduled for 2013. But patching up ties is politically sensitive in a country where anti-American sentiment is rampant.
Aside from the obvious questions surrounding the arrest of Dr. Afridi, why in the world are giving major amounts of money to a country that obviously does not support us? Also, why in the world are we negotiating a peace deal with the Taliban rather than defeating them?