US lawmakers threatened to cut aid to Pakistan unless it freed an American detained in a shadowy murder case, as Washington intensified pressure on its uneasy war partner.
Three members of the House of Representatives drove home the point on a visit to Pakistan, telling Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani starkly that the US Congress was working on its budget and looking for areas to cut.
“It is imperative that they release him and there is certainly the possibility that there would be repercussions if they don’t,”
Representative John Kline, a Republican from Minnesota, told reporters on his return.
“It’s entirely possible that a member of Congress would come down and offer an amendment to cut funding for Pakistan based on their detaining Mr. Davis,” Kline said.
“My guess is there would be a lot of support for such an amendment, frankly, because of the outrage of detaining an American with diplomatic immunity,” he said.
Asked if aid would be at risk if Davis stayed behind bars, Representative Buck McKeon, who heads the House Armed Services Committee, said: “It very well could be.”
Davis was arrested on January 27 after shooting the two Pakistani nationals, saying he feared they would rob him. A third Pakistani was run over and killed by a US consulate vehicle that had come to assist Davis, according to police.