Washington - Expressing concern over the new murder charge brought against Dr Shakil Afridi who had helped the CIA to trace Osama bin Laden, the US has asked Pakistan to ensure his fair trial for this new charge.

“We are concerned about the new charge brought today against Shakil Afridi,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters at a briefing on Friday.

“Afridi’s assistance in confirming the location of bin Laden was a service to the entire world and indeed to the Pakistanis who had lost loved ones and suffered at the hands of al-Qaida,” Psaki said when asked about the fresh charges against Afridi who is currently facing 30-year imprisonment. “We call on the proper authorities to ensure Afridi a fair trial for this new charge,” said the state department spokesperson. Meanwhile, an influential lawmaker warned that such move coming from Islamabad would make it difficult for continuation of financial assistance from the US to Pakistan.

“The US makes a serious financial commitment to Pakistan. This commitment is in serious jeopardy. Delicate diplomacy hasn’t worked," said Congressman Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “Let’s hope that this situation is immediately resolved,” he said, adding the US ambassador to Islamabad was taking up this issue with the Pakistan government.

“I have conveyed my displeasure to the Pakistan Embassy in Washington today and raised Afridi’s case directly with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last month. His government seems to be compounding the problem. I would like to hear Secretary Kerry and US officials speak out,” he said.

“It must be made clear that Afridi’s fate is an issue of critical importance to the US government. It is a matter of justice for Afridi and it is an essential litmus test of the relationship with the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif,” Royce said.

“This case has serious consequences for the US counterterrorism efforts. If we cannot do a better job protecting the brave people who cooperate with us, there will be fewer brave people to cooperate with us,” he said.

“Unfortunately, Pakistan is becoming an increasingly radicalised country as extremism and anti-Americanism spreads in some religious schools. The mistreatment of Afridi reflects that destructive trend,” Royce alleged.