Boehner: 'Our Aid Should Continue to Pakistan'

By Edwin Mora | May 5, 2011 | 4:27 PM EDT

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

( -- House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said today that he supports both continued aid to Pakistan and a “serious conversation” about Pakistan’s commitment to combating terrorism.

“Frankly, I believe our aid should continue to Pakistan,” Boehner told reporters on Capitol Hill. “This does not mean that there aren’t questions that need to be asked, but it also does not mean that we shouldn’t have a very serious conversation with them about their commitment to work with us to eliminate the terrorist threat to our country, our soldiers, and to the people of Pakistan as well.” 

“The operation against Osama bin Laden is an unmistakable triumph for our military and our intelligence personnel, and it’s also a credit to our commander in chief, the current one and the previous one, for sticking with the mission and proving that we’re committed to justice and no matter how long it takes,” said Boehner. “This war on terrorism is critical to the safety and security of the American people and we still face a complex and dangerous terrorist threat and it’s important that we remain vigilant.”

“It’s also important, in my view, that we use this moment to strengthen the ties between our country and Pakistan” he said. “Al Qaeda and its extremist allies have made Pakistan a target and the people of Pakistan have suffered deeply as a result -- and taking on al Qaeda and radical extremism is absolutely vital to the interest of both of our countries. So it’s not the time to back away from Pakistan. It’s time for more engagement with them, not less.”

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, has questioned whether Pakistan knew of Osama bin Laden’s hideaway.

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the Minority Whip, has said that Congress should explore whether or not to cut aid to Pakistan.