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Can the US ensure the release of a Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA reach Osama bin Laden?



The United States is said to have established contacts with Pakistani authorities at the highest level to secure the release of Shakil Afridi, the doctor who informed the CIA on the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, a garrison town in northern Pakistan, was helpful

DR. Afridi has been jailed for 33 years in prison for links with terrorists, an indictment he denies. The United States had the conviction of Dr. Afridi called "unfair and unjustified".

Since then, the power corridors in Islamabad have been swamped with speculation that Pakistan is most likely to release Shakil Afridi. An official from the Pakistani government confirmed this on Monday to Al Arabiya

"Yes, both Pakistan and the US are in contact with Afridi," he said. He said the last contact was made in the second week of April this year. Sources also report that Pakistan and the US are working on a prisoner exchange.

"It's about the release of Shakil Afridi in exchange for Mullah Fazalullah, Pakistan's most wanted man," said an official source. This correspondent could not receive official confirmation from either Pakistan or the United States.

A fair deal?

Earlier this month, however, a spokesman for the Pakistan Foreign Ministry said he did not know that a deal would be concluded between the two

"I'm not aware of Dr. Shakil Afridi," Dr. Mohammad Faisal, spokesman for the ministry, during a weekly press conference. General Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's former president, recently proposed that Islamabad release Afridi, but as part of a wider agreement.

"If I were president now, I would have solved Dr. Afridi in a give-and-take," the media reports quoted him as saying. Musharraf said Pakistan and the US could improve bilateral relations by releasing Shakil Afridi and making a fair deal.

"Pakistan can be more accommodating towards the US … and Afghanistan because there is a terrorist there, Fazalullah," he said. "I suppose the United States also knows it's here," he added. The government in Islamabad just needs to take the time to decide how Pakistan seems to be divided in Afridi's complex case.

Ijaz-ul-Haq, one of Pakistan's influential politicians and son of (deceased) General Zia-ul-Haq, has advised the government not to do so, release Shakil Afridi. "Shakil Afridi has violated Pakistan's sovereignty, how can we release him?" He said.

Congressional Hearing

Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, spoke at a congressional hearing last week about the problem of the detention of Dr. Ing. Afridi on. Media reports quoted him as saying he would secure Afridi's release.

"Please note that it is in my heart, we can do it, we can get his release," Pompeo was quoted as saying. Pompeo's remarks were perceived by members of the family of Shakil Afridi as a breath of fresh air.

Jamil Afridi, the doctor's brother, declined to comment on Pompeo's remarks. The record-breaking discussion with Shakil's family members revealed that they were hoping for his release. Officials in Islamabad have suggested that the government release Afridi, arguing that Pakistan can use this as a bargaining chip.

"The relationship between Pakistan and the US is currently at a" low point. "Let's release Afridi to repair relations with the US," an official suggested.

It is interesting to note that Dr. Afridi only collected a DNA sample from a compound suspected by the CIA that she was Bin Laden's

Book of Spy Masters

The Spy Chronicles a collaboration of spy masters from Pakistan and India's book, have recently announced that a few days before Osama Bin Laden's then Pakistani was killed Army chief Kayani met with a leading US official on a ship.

The meeting, when it has taken place, seems significant in the context of what happened to Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad. "It seemed too much a coincidence, because two days later Osama bin Laden was strangled," said Amarjit Singh Dulat, former head of RAW.

The book was co-authored by General Asad Durrani, former head of the Pakistani ISI and AS Dulat, former head of the Research and Analysis Wing of India (RAW). According to Durrani, the Americans have asked Kayani to work together. "Yeah, they [American] said ball," says Kayani, and the answer was, "We'll do it that way, and what do we get in return," quoted the book Durrani.

The book was made a surprising revelation that the Americans not only ostracized Osama Afridi, but also a retired Pakistani intelligence officer who helped them track down Osama found out. The Pakistani officer was rewarded with up to 50 million dollars, as the book shows.

"I have no doubt that a retired Pakistani intelligence officer came in and told the Americans how much of the $ 50 million he has, who knows, but he is missing in Pakistan," the source quoted Book Durrani.

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Last update: Tuesday, May 29, 201

8 KSA 10:47 – GMT 07:47


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