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May 7, 2018

The saga of Shakil Afridi


May 7, 2018

The international media has been recently talking about Sputnik’s report on Dr Shakil Afridi. All the reports subsequently published arguably shared one essential driver: a common narrative about the person who allegedly revealed the whereabouts of the bin Laden.

The Russian media recently reported that "the CIA planned to pull Dr. Shakil Afridi from the Peshawar prison, trying to organise a prison break, but the attempt was disrupted by (Pakistan’s) ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence). A local informant who also worked for the CIA handed over information about this (CIA plan), and was aware of the plan. ISI became aware that (the CIA) was also interested in the plan of the prison itself."

According to Sputnik, "Special services protect the informants who had been disclosed in order to preserve the confidence of other secret agents and informants working with them, especially in foreign countries. Because of this, the CIA has repeatedly asked for [the extradition] of Afridi. This was one of the main demands on the list of requirements for Pakistan by President Trump.”

Sputnik quoted a source as suggesting that the release of Afridi and his extradition to the US is crucial for other CIA operations in the Asian region. "Apparently, Pakistan refused to release Dr. Afridi because of the army's position, which believes that this will not only violate the sovereignty of the country and undermine its legal system ,but will also bolster the [US] intelligence activity. Pakistan has also refused to exchange [Afridi] for Aafia Siddiqui."

According to a report, “the issue of Afridi’s release is reportedly one of the major obstacles to the improvement of ties between the US and Pakistan. Soon after the death of Osama bin Laden in May 2011 in a US raid in Abbottabad, the US media reported that Afridi had contributed to the success of the CIA operation by collecting DNA samples of bin Ladens family by order of the intelligence agency. Then-CIA director Leon Panetta and then-US secretary of state Hillary Clinton had confirmed the doctor’s role in eliminating the terrorist, after which Afridi was arrested by Pakistani authorities.”

Meanwhile, authoritative sources have confirmed about the plan to take away Shakil Afridi from Peshawar jail and the Inter-Services Intelligence’s role in thwarting the plan. The sources have also strongly denied all reports that Afridi will be extradited to the US.

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