International Legal

Pak says open to discussion on doctor who helped US track Osama Bin Laden

NEW YORK: Pakistan Foreign Minister Makhdoom Mehmood Shah Qureshi has said that Islamabad is open to discuss the issue of Dr Shakil Afridi, who is considered a Central Investigation Agency (CIA) hero in the United States for helping Washington track down terrorist Osama bin Laden.

Shakil Afridi was sent behind the bars for helping the US by the Pakistan regime.

Fox News quoted Mr Qureshi as saying, “Openings are always there. He is viewed in a particular light in Pakistan; he is viewed as a traitor in Pakistan. But he is viewed as a friend in the US. So we have to bridge this gap.” Mr Qureshi asserted that courts will decide Shakil Afridi’s fate and not politics.

“We have a legal process. Afridi went through that legal process, he was given a fair chance to plead his case. He was sentenced, he was convicted and is serving a sentence. We expect you to respect our legal process, as we respect yours,” he said.

Shakil Afridi, who has been awarded a 26-year sentence, is believed to have committed treason by working with CIA, however, he was convicted on the pretext of having ties with a terrorist group Lashkar e-Islam. His lawyers have denied the claims of his ties with terrorist outfit calling them bogus.