ISI chief rules out Dr Shakil Afridi, Dr Afia Siddiqui swap deal

Published: September 1, 2012

Islam tells US that the chapter of Dr Shakeel Afridi should be considered as closed. PHOTO: FILE

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.

Reader Comments (25)

  • Nadir
    Sep 1, 2012 - 2:51AM

    Who is he to declare such statements to begin with?

    Recommend

  • Acorn Guts
    Sep 1, 2012 - 2:56AM

    Neither are worth the trouble to be honest

    Recommend

  • Humanity
    Sep 1, 2012 - 3:00AM

    .Why not?

    It sounds a very fair bargain. Swap Aafia a terrorist and therefore idolized as the daughter of the nation for a scape goat who helped root out a terrorist from the land of the pure ..

    Recommend

  • Imran Con
    Sep 1, 2012 - 3:04AM

    The moment I saw someone bring the idea up I knew it wouldn’t happen. But, it doesn’t change one thing and that’s it’s not supposed to be his decision anyways. His tact in how he said it was bad as well. Say it’s closed within hearing range of the people who were against it and you just open it right back up again to prove the finality of a non-factor’s comment wrong.

    Recommend

  • Cautious
    Sep 1, 2012 - 3:07AM

    No American has ever proposed such a swap. Further – it’s wishful thinking to believe that the American Congress is going to forget that you tried and convicted the only Pakistani to assist in locating OBL.

    Recommend

  • Nadir
    Sep 1, 2012 - 3:48AM

    Hold on, so we want to swap a Pakistani citizen for a US one?

    Recommend

  • Zeta
    Sep 1, 2012 - 4:01AM

    @Nadir:
    He is country’s intelligence chief. and you are not

    Recommend

  • Asad Shah
    Sep 1, 2012 - 4:31AM

    These men in khaki’s have seriously lost their mind.

    Recommend

  • Pashtun voice
    Sep 1, 2012 - 4:31AM

    Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is a known terrorist. Can someone explain why do we want her in Pakistan?

    Recommend

  • Imran
    Sep 1, 2012 - 4:58AM

    America will never accept any prisoner swap. For ISI, the US just needs to up the price, and the Pakistani Generals will be toeing its line.

    Recommend

  • Mahakkalchakra
    Sep 1, 2012 - 5:36AM

    @Nadir:

    George Bush, the former President of USA, the most powerful person in the world, once declared, “I am the decider”. He was rebuked by the USA Congress because they control the money.

    Does ISI controls Pakistan money?

    Recommend

  • A reader
    Sep 1, 2012 - 5:39AM

    This is a statement to boost the positive will of the countrymen towards this General – that’s all. It’s been insinuated some time before that Afia Siddique was an active agent of the ISI who was charged with attempted murder of a US soldier which makes her an enemy of the State (the United States). The US will under no circumstances swap her – her most likely punishment will be life imprisonment. Knowing this, the General just made a statement hoping to gain something for nothing – positive political will by trying to highlight the relative importance of Shakil Afridi – who in reality has no more value or utility for the US.

    Recommend

  • Ibn Batoota ka Joota
    Sep 1, 2012 - 5:45AM

    @Humanity ” Swap Aafia a terrorist…”

    Nope, even Americans didn’t charge her with terrorism (look it up,) but that didn’t stop you from it.

    Recommend

  • vasan
    Sep 1, 2012 - 8:01AM

    Both of them will reach their destiny,

    Recommend

  • Nadir
    Sep 1, 2012 - 8:05AM

    @Zeta: No he is not “country” intelligence chief, he heads one of the various intelligence agencies. He is not a judge, the President or any other competent authority who is in a position to legally pardon/sanction any such action or decide policy to the contrary. No amount of jingoistic sabre rattling is going to hide his incompetence as evidenced from the daily intelligence failures any increasing body count of Pakistani citizens.

    Recommend

  • Sep 1, 2012 - 9:54AM

    Since you all know so much about the ‘goings on’ between US and Pakistan spy agencies, why not write an article spilling the truth once and for all. Salams

    Recommend

  • The Truth
    Sep 1, 2012 - 10:34AM

    The US would like to see Dr. Afridi released, because it sends a good message to the next guy they try to get to help them. But the reality of the situation is that he and for that matter Dr. Siddiqui are low priorities for both Governments. There are Billions of dollars at stake here, Nato supply routes, Aid to Pakistan and Afghanistan and Trade with India. These two will be used in the public where possible to try to sway opinion a little this way or that way. In the end they will both rot in jail where they belong. Both thought that they were doing noble endeavors, both were left with out a chair when the music stopped, sadly that’s how life is sometimes.

    Recommend

  • Muhammad Hassan
    Sep 1, 2012 - 10:50AM

    @Nadir: Hit the nail right on the head!

    Recommend

  • Polpot
    Sep 1, 2012 - 10:52AM

    In Pakistan, every Govt official is the Foreign Minister, some more and some less.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    The other notable ‘foreign minister’ being the interior minister!

    Recommend

  • Raza Khan
    Sep 1, 2012 - 4:01PM

    Release Afrida to win some international good will! For god sake learn something about PR & showing a soft face to international community. Agressive attitude will further alienate us. Recommend

  • It Is (still) Economy Stupid
    Sep 1, 2012 - 4:16PM

    This is nothing to gauge public reaction and use to further someones cause. Very similar to the one that US is going to give three provinces of Afghanistan to Haqqani network. Publishing such a news is a sure way to loose credibility of the news outlet

    Recommend

  • abdul
    Sep 1, 2012 - 5:51PM

    @Nadir:
    the person u have selected for dem u r saying k they only make desicion……r they capable of making decisions……so let it b…..

    Recommend

  • abdul
    Sep 1, 2012 - 5:55PM

    @Humanity:
    why u r nt visualizing the propaganda which is going againt ISI…..americans never said dis thing if u have an official proof give me…..and sir otherwise who all r involved in OBL operation phyisically r dead now except him…..who did dis the america his one of heli crashed and they all r declared dead….so

    Recommend

  • ALI RAZA TASADDAQ
    Sep 1, 2012 - 9:17PM

    Finally some sensible words are being said….. I hope Pak doesn’t take money from CIA to hand over Dr Shakeel Afridi to USA like they allowed MR RAYMOND DAYVES…. Recommend

  • Ayman
    Sep 3, 2012 - 4:33PM

    as far as dr afiz terrorist activities go, none were ever proven!!!

    Recommend

More in Pakistan