Congress: We can't abandon Pakistan now

“You can’t trust them, and you can’t abandon them,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), top Republican on a Senate subcommittee responsible for doling out foreign aid. “One thing that’s just not an option to me is to sever ties – that to me is a formula for a failed state.”

The dilemma facing lawmakers is stark. At a time of intense budget-cutting fervor, voters often say that foreign aid should be sacrificed before Congress cuts popular domestic programs – and with suspicions lingering over Pakistan’s role in the bin Laden episode, the pressure to slice funds for the country is only growing. But cutting aid to Pakistan creates its own risks and could further roil tensions with the nation at a crucial time in the United States’ 10-year war against terrorism…

Speaking to reporters after a party lunch, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said that Pakistan has been a partner fighting the Taliban and al Qaeda, having lost thousands of troops fighting alongside the United States.

“Now this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have oversight and I’m willing to do that,” Reid said Tuesday. “But we will have federal assistance.”