Today, it was announced the government of Pakistan has sentenced Dr. Shakil Afridi to 30-33 years in prison for "high treason" because he helped the United States locate Osama Bin Laden.
"This is decisive proof Pakistan sees itself as being at war with us," says Rohrabacher.
At a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on February 29th, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for Afridi's release and said "I think his work on behalf of the effort to take down Bin Laden was in Pakistan's interest, as well as the US interest."
"There is no shared interest against Islamic terrorism," Rohrabacher points out. "On 9/11, Pakistan was coordinating the efforts of the Taliban who were in league with Osama Bin Laden. In 2012, Pakistan is still working very closely with the Taliban, whose leader Mullah Omar was plotting with Bin Laden right up until he was killed, according to documents taken from bin Laden's Pakistan home. Pakistan was and remains a terrorist state."
In February, Rep. Rohrabacher introduced two pieces of legislation to aid Dr. Afridi and draw attention to his desperate situation. HR 4069 would award Dr. Afridi the Congressional Gold Medal for his bravery in locating the world's most wanted terrorist. HR 3901 is a bill that would grant Dr. Afridi U.S. citizenship, demonstrate America has not forgotten Dr. Afridi, and show the US stands by him in recognition of his selfless acts.
"I am very dismayed that neither of these bills has been brought to the House floor for a vote. Dr. Afridi came through for the American people, now it is our time to come through for him."
Rep. Rohrabacher has been leading the fight in Congress to cut off all aid to Pakistan, $2.2 billion of which has been authorized.
"Advocates of aid argue we should draw a distinction between the civilian government and the military-intelligence cabal who are supporting terrorist groups that murder Americans," says Rep. Rohrabacher, "but President Zadari's behavior at the NATO summit in Chicago indicates that he is either in league with the military or under their domination. Any money that goes to Islamabad will continue to end up in the pockets of people actively and deadly hostile to America.
"Secretary Clinton will have to do more than voice protests over the Afridi case. Both the Departments of State and Defense need to take punitive actions against Pakistan. Carrots are not enough when dealing with an adversary. Sticks are needed to prove we are serious. Cutting off aid to the regime while providing support to groups like the Baluchi people who are oppressed by Islamabad will send a message that it doesn't pay to confront America.
"Pakistan was invited to the NATO summit to foster cooperation, but no cooperation was evident. Pakistan is still keeping supply lines to NATO forces in Afghanistan blocked. As NATO withdraws, Pakistan sees its chance to increase its use of terrorist groups as its vanguard for taking over Afghanistan and spreading radical Islam throughout the region. We need to enlist Russia and India to support anti-Pakistan forces in Afghanistan such as the Northern Alliance. The Taliban is only the tip of the spear, the real enemy is Pakistan."