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No basis to charge Shakeel Afridi: US

- May 24, 2012 - Updated 63 PKT - From Web Edition

WASHINGTON: The US State Department said that Pakistan had no basis to hold or charge a surgeon who was sentenced Wednesday to 33 years in prison for helping in the hunt for Osama bin Laden.


The court in Khyber convicted surgeon Shakeel Afridi of treason after he agreed to collect DNA for US intelligence to verify the presence of the most-wanted Al-Qaeda leader.


State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland recalled that both US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had earlier raised concerns with Pakistan about the doctor's case.


"Our views on it haven't changed. We continue to see no basis for Dr. Afridi to be held," Nuland said. "We will continue to make those representations to the government of Pakistan."


When asked why she only referred to Afridi's charges and did not acknowledge his actual conviction and sentencing, Nuland said: "It's not clear that the legal process is over, OK? There may be other options for him legally."


Her muted remarks came as Washington and Islamabad, allies in the war on terror, struggle to repair ties that hit a low when US forces staged a secret raid into Pakistan that killed bin Laden in May last year.


They were strained to breaking point in November when US forces staged a botched raid that killed 24 Pakistani troops, prompting Islamabad to cut off the land route for supplies to NATO troops in neighboring Afghanistan. (AFP)

Reader Comments
yeah Double Dealing Nice comments by US .... do you really know double dealing once you fire at Salala, Once a rascal of CIA kills people in Lhr, Once a drone claims numerous innocent lives... Plz consult some dictionary for your actions as well.

@Jahiloon. Conspiring to attack your own country is treason, we don't even know if Ossama was there.

it is not all fair to put Afridi behind bars for 33 years.

who the hell are you ediots to decide ....the international contractors of so called terrorists....

We don't understand why American government likes to poke their noses in somebody elses affair.

United Kingdom
who the hell are they to teach or tell us wat should do or not. Afridi did wrong to his country and he should be punished, if so loyal he is , must have informed our own security agencies about it y outsiders, he is traitor and should be punished fully.

Let us block all such venues which provide support to foreign powers to meddle in the affairs of the state of Pakistan. No more spy networks, US contractors etc, etc

Asghar Ali
Collaboration with a foreign spy agency and to act against the national interests is good enough a reason for charging this doctor. It is just like a US citizen collaborating with Russia or Iran. The doctor should not have accepted the offer of CIA for collaboration and should have reported to country's authorities for any effort on part of CIA for asking his assistance. CIA must have paid a heft amount to the doctor. Why to cry if the collaborator is punished

Asghar Ali
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