US military chief backs aid cuts

Published May 30, 2012 12:01am

WASHINGTON, May 29: US military chief Gen Martin Dempsey has said that his country’s senators made the right call by voting last week to trim aid to Pakistan.

“I think that choices should result in consequences. And I think the senate acted appropriately,” Gen Dempsey told NBC News on Monday night.

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted last week to cut $33 million for Pakistan -- $1 million for each year Shakil Afridi, who helped the CIA locate Osama bin Laden, will spend in prison.

In addition to this symbolic cut, the Senate Armed Service Committee voted to freeze $250 million in military aid until Pakistan reopens Nato supply routes to Afghanistan, ceases its support for militants and stops detaining citizens — a veiled reference to the sentencing of Dr Afridi.

Gen Dempsey was questioned about the decision to “withdraw some funding” from Pakistan, without mentioning the Afridi case and his answer indicated that he approved both cuts.

Asked if the US relationship with Pakistan had ever been worse, he replied: “Not in my experience.”


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