WASHINGTON -- As some lawmakers call for the United States to cut aid to Pakistan following the death of Osama bin Laden there earlier this month, House Speaker John Boehner said Sunday that the U.S. government should continue to work with Pakistan.
“At this moment in time, we should re-engage and strengthen our relationship with Pakistan, not walk away from it," Boehner said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
After al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in Pakistan on May 1, some have questioned whether the Pakistan government and military was aware of his presence there. Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, was near a military academy, and relatively close to the nation’s capital.
White House adviser John Brennan told reporters earlier this month that the location of the compound “raises questions” about whether Pakistan knew bin Laden was in the country.
A number of lawmakers have said the U.S. government should cut or place restrictions on aid to Pakistan in light of bin Laden’s presence in the nation. Those calls have come from both sides of the aisle, including Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.).
But Boehner said that now is not the time to alter relationships with Pakistan, which is considered an ally in the fight against al Qaeda and terrorism.
“We have hundreds of billions of dollars that we’ve spent in Afghanistan and in Pakistan," Boehner said. "We’ve got an awful lot invested here in lives and in treasury. And I think that we need to make sure that we put Afghanistan on a solid foundation before we walk away from there.”