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No deal with US to hand over Dr Shakeel Afridi: Pak

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May 03, 2018 23:49


Pakistan today said there was "no deal" with the US for the release of an imprisoned doctor, who helped CIA track down Osama bin Laden in 2011.
Dr Shakeel Afridi was arrested after Osama was killed in a covert US raid at a compound in Pakistan's Abbotabad city on May 2, 2011. The US has been asking Pakistan to release him.
Initially, he was accused of organising a fake immunization campaign for the CIA to confirm presence of then al-Qaeda chief but later awarded 33 years sentence for alleged links with militants. 
His sentence was later reduced to 23 years.
He was shifted from a Peshawar jail to a jail in Rawalpindi last week, giving air to various kinds of speculations, including one that American secret agencies were planning a jail break to take Afridi away.
Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal today rejected all speculations about handing over Afridi to the US.
Faisal said he was not "aware of any deal regarding Dr. Shakeel Afridi" and the "subject of the reported jail break is being dealt by the Ministry of Interior."
He said Afridi will not be handed over to the US. 
"On behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I can assure you that he is not being handed over to US," the spokesman said.
Faisal also insisted that the authorities were not planning to swap Afridi for Aafia Siddiqui - who is currently serving a sentence in a US jail for trying to kill US agents and military officers in Afghanistan - or former Pakistani ambassador Hussain Haqqani who resides in the US and is the prime suspect in the Memogate scandal that surfaced in 2011. -- PTI

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