The Consolidated Appropriations Bill 2014, approved by US Congress, was signed into law by President on 17 January 2014. As an omnibus legislation, it contains respective Appropriation Bills for all Government Departments, including the Department of Defence and the Department of State. The State Department will now undertake the process of making allocations, including those for Pakistan. However, we are disappointed that the bill proposes to withhold US$ 33 million from assistance on account of Dr. Shakil Afridi’s detention.
Dr. Shakil Afridi, a citizen of Pakistan, is accused of having violated the country’s laws. His action also caused immense damage to the polio campaign in the country. His case is sub judice and he remains entitled to due process under the law. Consequently, any linkage of US assistance to this case is not in keeping with the spirit of cooperation between the two countries.
Pakistan and the United States are engaged in building a close, cooperative relationship, based on mutual respect and mutual interest. It is our hope that this process would continue to move forward in a constructive manner.
January 20, 2014