Courts to decide Afridi's fate, Pakistan tells US

Published October 23, 2013
Dr Shakil Afridi. — File photo
Dr Shakil Afridi. — File photo
US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (L) shakes hands with Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (R) on Capitol Hill in Washington, October 22, 2013.   — Photo by Reuters
US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (L) shakes hands with Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (R) on Capitol Hill in Washington, October 22, 2013. — Photo by Reuters

Pakistan has told the US that Shakil Afridi, the doctor who helped the CIA track down former Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, was no hero and that his fate would be decided by the courts, DawnNews reported.

Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani was giving a briefing after a meeting between a US House Committee on Foreign Affairs and a delegation led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Jilani said a high-level delegation from Pakistan would visit the United States on Nov 12.

The meeting which was attended by Pakistan's Federal Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar, Foreign Secretary Jilani and Prime Minister's Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz discussed matters relating to the "war against terrorism", militant outfits like the Lashkar-i-Taiba (LT), civil nuclear program, drone strikes, energy crisis, educational reforms, regional stability and trade.

During the meeting, the foreign secretary said that the US was told that the LT had already been banned in Pakistan and that action could be taken against Hafiz Saeed if substantial evidence was made available.

Regarding the demand to release Dr Shakil Afridi, Jilani said the US was told that Afridi was no hero and was facing criminal cases, adding that the courts would decide his fate.

Earlier, the BBC Urdu website had reported that United States Representative Edward Royce, a California Republican and Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee had emphasised on Afridi's release during the meeting.

The meeting was also attended by chairman representatives of both the parties in the House and 15 other members.

Afridi was convicted and sentenced to 33 years last year in May for involvement in anti-state activities by a tribal court.

A judicial official overturned the 33-year jail sentence in August this year but Afridi remains in detention.

He is accused of colluding with banned militant outfit Lashkar-i-Islam and its chief Mangal Bagh.

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