ISLAMABAD: The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam has denied reports that Dr Shakil Afridi could be handed to the US in swap deal, Dawn.com reported.
According to the report, the ISI supremo, who had held talks with his CIA counterpart earlier in August, told reporters at a press briefing late on Friday that the US should consider the chapter of Dr Shakil Afridi, who helped the US locate al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, as closed.
“He (Dr Afridi) will never be bartered for Dr Afia Siddiqui, no such proposal is under consideration,” the spy chief said, dispelling rumours.
However, an ISI official talking to the Express Tribune said that the ISI chief’s statement had been misquoted, and taken out of context by a section of the media.
Afridi had been arrested by the ISI from near Peshawar, two weeks after Osama’s death. The official said that Afridi had accepted helping the CIA by running a fake vaccination campaign in Abbottabad a month before the raid on OBL’s compound.
Dr Afridi was subsequently sentenced to 33 years in prison by a tribal court for his alleged involvement with militant groups. He has appealed the verdict in a high court.