No proposal is under consideration to hand over Dr Shakeel Afridi, who helped CIA in Osama Ben Laden compound raid in May 2011, to the United States, says chief of Pakistan's spy agency Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).
Director General Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam said in Islamabad Friday "US
should forget the matter of Dr Afridi for at least 10 years."
said that no proposal is under review for the swap of Dr Afridi with Dr Aafia
Siddiqui, who is serving 86 year jail sentence in US for allegedly attacking
American soldiers in Afghanistan.
Zaheerul Islam was commenting on the suggestions by the Free Aafia Movement that
she may be swapped with Dr. Afridi.
leading newspaper, The News, quoted the
was picked up by the ISI from Pakistan-Afghanistan border, two weeks after the
US operation in the OBL's compound in Abbottabad. Pakistani officials said that
Afridi had accepted helping the CIA by running a fake vaccination campaign in
Abbottabad a month before the raid on the OBL's compound.
now 48, was recruited by the CIA some years ago, according to several U.S. and
Pakistani officials. One Pakistani intelligence source said he was
talent-spotted while working in an Afghan refugee camp on the outskirts of Peshawar
in 2009 and used to gather intelligence on militants in the border area.
Later, he was asked to scout bin Laden's compound in the garrison town of Abbottabad, under the cloak of an anti-hepatitis campaign. U.S. officials say Afridi provided important information on activity at the compound.
He was arrested from Torkham border while trying to escape to Afghanistan days after the raid. On 23 May 2012, Shakil Afridi was sentenced to 33 years imprisonment, initially believed to be in connection with the Bin Laden raid but later revealed to be due to ties with a local warlord Mangal Bagh who commands an armed group known as Lashkar-e-Islam.
released by the tribal court that sentenced Afridi said he had been found
guilty of aiding the group, and not for treason for his role in helping the
Laskhar-e-Islam acknowledged that its fighters kidnapped Afridi for several days in April 2008 to investigate the allegations of his
His brother Jamil Afridi said he had been forced to pay a one million rupee (now about $10,650) ransom to Lashkar-e-Islam to secure his release and rejected the allegations that his brother had performed improper surgeries.
this year, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher submitted a bill to grant US
citizenship to Dr. Afridi. The bill called for Dr Afridi to be deemed "a
naturalized citizen of the United States."
speech in Congress, Rohrabacher, who is also the Chair of the House Foreign
Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight, said, "Pakistan's Inquiry Commission on the
Abbottabad Operation, the US mission which killed bin Laden, has recommended
that Dr Afridi be tried for treason for helping the US. If convicted, he could
be executed. My bill would grant him US citizenship and send a direct and
powerful message to those in the Pakistani government and military who
protected the mastermind of 9/11 for all those years and who are now seeking
retribution on those who helped to execute bin Laden."
The day after Afridi was sentenced, the US Senate expressed its anger by voting to dock Islamabad $33 million in aid - $1 million for every year of the term.