(The Hill) — Senate appropriators unanimously voted Thursday to cut Pakistani aid by $33 million, or $1 million for every year a Pakistani doctor will spend in prison for helping the CIA find Osama bin Laden.

While the cut represents a small fraction of U.S. aid to Pakistan, the 30-0 vote in favor of the amendment from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) highlights a new low in tensions between the two countries sparked by Wednesday’s sentencing in Pakistan of Shakil Afridi on treason charges by a tribal court.

Afridi used a vaccination drive to try to get DNA samples from people inside the compound where bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan. While he was unsuccessful, U.S. officials say he helped an intelligence program that led to the killing of bin Laden.

“This conviction says to me that al-Qaeda is viewed by the court to be Pakistan,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said during the mark-up. “I don’t know which side of the war Pakistan is on. This makes me seriously question our financial support to Pakistan.”

0 Shares