Dr Shakil Afridi claims ISI regards US as 'worst enemy'

Published: September 11, 2012

Afridi claims ISI supports Haqqani network. PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR: Controversial Pakistani doctor and alleged CIA informant, Dr Shakil Afridi claimed in an interview to Fox News that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency regarded America as its “worst enemy” and that the incumbent government was cooperating with the US only to extract billions in aid.

“They [ISI officers] said ‘The Americans are our worst enemies, worse than the Indians,’” Afridi was quoted.

Speaking to the conservative American cable news channel from his cell in Peshawar Central Jail, Dr Afridi claimed that within the jail, the ISI maintained a regime of perpetual torture and brutal interrogation.

Dr Afridi also claimed the ISI was helping fund the Haqqani network, the North Waziristan-based militant group that was last week designated a Foreign Terrorist Organisation by the US.

Afridi claimed that before he was moved to Peshawar in May, 2012, he met Abdul Kayyum, the nephew of a Wazir tribe chief, who had been apprehended by the ISI for unclear reasons.

Kayyum allegedly told the doctor that three years earlier, his uncle, Khan Marjakee, had allegedly been instructed by the ISI to raise funds from the tribal community for the Haqqanis, which Marjakee then did.

“Without doubt, the Haqqanis are 100 per cent supported by the ISI,” Afridi was quoted by Fox News.

He claimed that the spy agency also manipulated inmates to stop them from talking to visiting US officials, especially CIA officers while militants who were arrested, were routinely released, free to return to Afghanistan provided they avoided the Americans.

“It is now indisputable that militancy in Pakistan is supported by the ISI […] Pakistan’s fight against militancy is bogus. It’s just to extract money from America,” Dr Afridi said, referring to the $23 billion Pakistan has received, mostly, in military aid since 9/11.

Helping CIA out of love for USA

Dr Afridi, who had allegedly helped the CIA to inadvertently find Osama bin Laden, told Fox News that an ISI report which allegedly carried a confession about his role in the programme, was false and claimed he never admitted to such charges, even under the threat of torture.

“I was told stories about what to say as statements and forced to write statements,” he claimed. “When I refused, the major said, ‘When we give you pain, then you will write.’”

Afridi, who was described as ‘reluctant’ by the report to gave details about how he become involved with the CIA or the vaccination drive, claimed he was never aware the CIA was closing in on the al Qaeda leader, but admitted he knew the work he was doing was for Americans.

“I didn’t know about a specific target apart from the work I was given to do,” he said. “The house was famous for its name, Waziristan House. I was aware that some terrorists were residing in that compound, but I didn’t know whom. I was shocked. I didn’t believe I was associated in his killing.”

Fox News further quoted Afridi as saying that “I have a lot of respect and love for your people,” before adding that he was “proud to work with” the CIA.

Dr Afridi claimed that after his work had been completed, his CIA handlers had advised him to flee to Afghanistan, where he and his family would be taken care of but he said he refused, pointing towards an earlier kidnapping in the tribal region had scared him too much travel through that region again, deciding instead to stay. He further claimed that since he didn’t feel that he was involved in the raid, he deemed it unnecessary to escape.

Arabs given ‘first class treatments’

The doctor spoke about alleged torture of white Western male converts to Islam, who were apprehended while traveling to Afghanistan to fight against Nato troops or be trained in militant camps in the region’s tribal belt. While there were militants of different nationalities, Apbara detention facility, Arab detainees were given “first-class treatment and first-class food,” while some radicalised Westerners were singled out for abuse.

“The militants were told by the ISI, ‘According to the Americans, we’re supposed to arrest you. We don’t want anything to do with you, but will support you by letting you go. Go back to Afghanistan and steer clear of the Americans.’ And then they would be released.”

In his alleged account of an ISI prison, one in the basement of an ISI office in Islamabad, Dr Afridi claimed there were a number of ‘white’ Westerners, with their nationalities ranging from American, British, Dutch, and German, who all had come to Pakistan to train and participate in a jihad against NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Regime of torture

Dr Afridi, who has been detained for over 12 months before he was sentenced by a tribal court for facilitating a banned orgranisation, claimed the ISI maintained a regime of torture in its detention centres.

He claimed that he too had been tortured with cigarette butts and electric shocks.

Talking about his detention by the ISI on May 23 in Hayatabad, Dr Afridi claimed, “my clothes were removed and I was forced by a major to wear old dirty torn rags of an army conductor. It was difficult to eat food. I had to bend down on my knees to eat with only my mouth, like a dog. I sat on the floor.”

The alleged maltreatment, being bound and blindfolded for eight months, he claims eventually affected his eyesight and limbs.

After torture, ISI also looted Afridi

Dr Afridi claims the ISI has “looted” his bank account of millions of rupees.

“My bank account was looted [by the ISI while being held], making me bankrupt. I need financial, legal and diplomatic help,” Afridi claimed. “My situation is very grim. I earned millions of rupees (tens of thousands of dollars) a year and supported my family and that of my brother. All of that is lost.”

Since Afridi’s arrest, the family collectively has allegedly suffered $160,000 in lost income, legal fees and living costs, an entire life’s fortune by Pakistani standards, he estimated.

The report ended by saying Dr Afridi is held in a cell guarded by two commandos. He has available in his cell a washroom, a bed and a gas burner for cooking food. His family visits often, bringing him food and other supplies, though they have to bribe prison officials to get the items through.

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Reader Comments (65)

  • KB
    Sep 11, 2012 - 2:30AM

    That’s quite strange of a comment; have they been telling him all this and then allowed him to go about speaking to a foreign news channel, funny people.

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  • Sajida
    Sep 11, 2012 - 2:40AM

    Got an axe to grind. Looks rather healthy fr a torture victim.

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  • hamza ahmad
    Sep 11, 2012 - 2:44AM

    Latest Addition in Fox News ‘Fairy Tales’ Library.

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  • Concerned
    Sep 11, 2012 - 2:54AM

    The gall of Dr. Afridi to request financial aid – when he knows that any government will freeze a man’s account on such strong charges…and knowing he’d try to defend himself (as is expected) the ISI let him get interviewed by Fox News, in his jail cell? Complicit or incompetent?

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  • Cautious
    Sep 11, 2012 - 3:10AM

    No great revelations — least of all to the American’s. It’s one of the reasons that America has all but ignored Pakistan in determining it’s exit plan from Afghanistan and the prime reason that America is going to leave a small but lethal footprint in Afghanistan after 2014 capable of continuing drone/special force attack in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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  • Joy Goswami
    Sep 11, 2012 - 3:39AM

    Damn, is this for Real ??? How the Hell did Fox News manage an interview with this condemned man, given that he is always under the satanic eyes of the Deep State ! ! !

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  • Roaming eye
    Sep 11, 2012 - 3:43AM

    ….and the ISI would grant you live access to the US media so that you could vent out all your anger and frustration against your country and its prime agency. Maybe the ISI commandoes guarding your cell were asleep at the time you were giving this interview. What a joke!!!

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  • hmmm
    Sep 11, 2012 - 3:49AM

    What a joke! as if the ISI would allow him to speak to fox news

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  • numbersnumbers
    Sep 11, 2012 - 3:54AM

    Another BIG clue as to why the Abbottabad Comission Report on Osama bin Laden’s multi year vacation stay INSIDE PAKISTAN will never see the light of day! As to why FOX NEWS was allowed to interview Dr. Afridi at all, it appears that we are seeing the results of a power struggle between the elected government of Pakistan AND the ISI/Army!

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  • asad
    Sep 11, 2012 - 3:58AM

    Why the was Fox news allowed to interview this traiter?Recommend

  • Nadir
    Sep 11, 2012 - 4:07AM

    Given that its quite dubious that Fox News actually was able to conduct this interview, its rather irresponsible to publish it. The two commandos stood around while he gave an interview? He was being tortured and at the same time tried to make his torturers understand that the US is a benevolent power? This is more like what Fox News would wish that was going on…

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  • We salute you!
    Sep 11, 2012 - 4:09AM

    Hats off to a true Pakistani hero and patriot.

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  • ashamed to be a pakistani
    Sep 11, 2012 - 4:11AM

    how foxnews was able to get access to him?

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  • Sexton Blake
    Sep 11, 2012 - 5:13AM

    Although DR. Afridi has my sympathy for loosing his way, he should have known, as an educated person, that getting mixed up at high levels in the murky areas of military and/or civilian intelligence is not a good place to be. However, things could be worse. Some people are in Guantanamo Bay Detention Centre, Cuba and tortured by Americans around the clock. If the Fox news report is accurate the Doctor does not appear to have learned any lessons. DR. Afridi certainly would not have this type of access to the press in an American prison, and visiting rights would certainly not be allowed to a prisoner mixed up in espionage. Although I would not wish to exchange places with Dr. Afridi his treatment, by and large, appears to be better than he would receive in most countries.

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  • Karim Azizi
    Sep 11, 2012 - 5:17AM

    Why is a traitor giving an interview to Fox News out of all the news corporations in this world??

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  • sensible
    Sep 11, 2012 - 5:40AM

    how come he allowed to talk to any foreign news agency. He is a traitor and should be hanged as soon as possible. Never heard a jailed person giving interviews, strange!

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Sep 11, 2012 - 6:00AM

    So many contradictions.
    Outside jail, no one can dare to speak against ISI, but in jail cell, under constant threat of torcher, he is free to speak against most powerful agency of the country..strange..

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  • Asad
    Sep 11, 2012 - 6:18AM

    ‘I earned millions of rupees (tens of thousands of dollars) a year’ haha yes please Americans help me I love you so much I was a millionaire doctor please send me money and I will give more interviews like this so Fox and ET and publish them.

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  • Tariq
    Sep 11, 2012 - 6:19AM

    So what else is new

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  • Basit
    Sep 11, 2012 - 6:42AM

    Chacha Afridi has proven he will pander to whoever listens to him and sell his soul to the highest bidder. He should be thankful that taliban were not able to catch him.

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  • kaalchakra
    Sep 11, 2012 - 8:10AM

    US is the worst enemy. It is the one long-tern enemy that will remain when all others have been taken out, and it is the one enemy that will fund all of Pakistan’s enemies while it exists. It is an existential fight, ultimately.

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  • numbersnumbers
    Sep 11, 2012 - 9:02AM

    Please do a Google search for “Fox News Afridi” and you can read the whole story on their web site! This story probably will be picked up by all the international press by tomorrow!

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  • Analyzer
    Sep 11, 2012 - 9:28AM

    This traitor is giving a bad name to all Afridis, why hasn’t someone put him out of his misery yet.

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  • faraz
    Sep 11, 2012 - 11:38AM

    @We salute you!: So a true hero is proud of working for CIA? Amazing!

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  • Awans
    Sep 11, 2012 - 11:40AM

    Dr Afridi’s love of the Blond and Blue eyes compel him to make these statements. If his family hates Pakistan and have a great respect for Invaders then tell his family to leave for Afghanistan which is a Paradise made by America and Dr Afridi is in love with America.
    Also after his Interview one thing is Absolutely clear that he was an Intelligence agent rather than a simple Doctor in Pakistan as now he is even claiming that he is proud to work for CIA and infact those Pakistani Officers who arrested him in the past stating that he is not just a Doctor were right

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  • Rehan
    Sep 11, 2012 - 11:45AM

    Senator Paul wants to make Shakil Afridi a cause celebre for American voters. This doctor Afridi took money from foreign spymasters, but never went for a second round of vaccinations in his own country, thus putting his patients’ health at risk. He should be ashamed of himself.

    If Senator Rand Paul is so worried about the protection of human rights, then perhaps he can start with investigating those who have taken part in the killings of hundreds of innocent men, women and children in drone strikes in Pakistan. Then we will see and know about Senator Paul’s real character.

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  • Fahim
    Sep 11, 2012 - 12:09PM

    should be released immediately and must be given the highest level of award

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  • anry
    Sep 11, 2012 - 12:10PM

    Will Fox also interview Bradley Manning? And come up with same kind of quotes? NEVER, EVER.

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  • Pakboy
    Sep 11, 2012 - 12:13PM

    Who in this day and age believe FOX NEWS and takes it as credible source? Seriously

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  • wonderer
    Sep 11, 2012 - 12:14PM

    Enemies, Enemies everywhere/

    Not a Friend in sight!

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  • GhostRider
    Sep 11, 2012 - 12:15PM

    though i support Dr. Afridi but this is fabricated…he knows way too much than Americans

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  • Kamran
    Sep 11, 2012 - 12:19PM

    The only good coming out of it is that he accepted he worked for CIA. The question is why he is not being hanged as yet, as per our local laws????

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  • Waziristani
    Sep 11, 2012 - 12:24PM

    We are proud of you and salute to the services you rendered for the sake of humanity.

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  • Nand
    Sep 11, 2012 - 12:27PM

    I wonder which news channels Pakistanis believe in.

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  • Umair Khan
    Sep 11, 2012 - 12:40PM

    i dont doubt when he says Pakistan is playing dubious role. We people of Fata and KPK are suffering from this double game.

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  • MAD
    Sep 11, 2012 - 12:40PM

    IF he is so ehavily guarded then how did he give the interview?

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  • syed Imran
    Sep 11, 2012 - 12:56PM

    All the more reason that Dr. Afridi was never loyal to Pakistan

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  • Tot ba tot
    Sep 11, 2012 - 1:08PM

    I thought water boarding was OK with US senetors. Whats a little bit of sleep deprivation. Maybe Dr. Afridi would prefer Abu Graib?

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  • Aazaad
    Sep 11, 2012 - 1:29PM

    Mr. Afridi you are one true Pakistani, fearless and of clean heart. Unlike most of people commenting here you have guts and honesty to call spade a spade. You have made me proud of our Pakistani heritage.

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  • RELEASE Dr Shakil Afridi
    Sep 11, 2012 - 1:36PM

    and tehreek e taliban is your best friend

    they will cut your heads and claim responsibility.

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  • Sep 11, 2012 - 2:00PM

    interview to FOX News? Was he giving interview from ‘undisclosed location’ though ‘undisclosed mobile’ or ‘undisclosed satellite?’

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  • alicia
    Sep 11, 2012 - 2:06PM

    I don’t know if this is a hoax or not.

    How could he be allowed to speak to Fox news from a jail cell?? Really really fishy

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  • S K Afridi
    Sep 11, 2012 - 2:08PM

    A pack of lies concocted by the Western media. However “US is Pakistan’s worst enemy” is a truth as concluded by PEW and GALLOP after conducting detailed surveys.

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  • ikhlaas
    Sep 11, 2012 - 2:08PM

    after the interview…he must be getting another trashing

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  • Nadeem
    Sep 11, 2012 - 2:11PM

    @Cautious:
    Probably this is why we caught Dr. Afridi!

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  • Raza Khan
    Sep 11, 2012 - 2:41PM

    Release him ASAP!

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  • Chopper
    Sep 11, 2012 - 2:49PM

    what a dumb interview….but hey it’s fox news after all.

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  • Polpot
    Sep 11, 2012 - 3:52PM

    @Pakboy: “Who in this day and age believe FOX NEWS and takes it as credible source?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Well Fox News does have credibility far ahead of Pakistan’s. Remember OBL?

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  • Shah
    Sep 11, 2012 - 4:09PM

    How traitors should be treated.

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  • Jat
    Sep 11, 2012 - 4:10PM

    Dr Afridi has twice shown that he is smarter than the combined brains of the deep state. He will show that once again, when he is safely back in the United States. This is inevitable.

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  • Indian Wisdom
    Sep 11, 2012 - 4:38PM

    What is this???? Can’t believe it. Seems Mr. Afridi is pleading for dollars and citizenship of America in barter to the “service” he has done to them !!!!

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  • Sep 11, 2012 - 4:48PM

    @Roaming eye:
    There is one lubricant( money) which can keep everything moving if applied rightly and at right place.

    conversation by cell phone is verifiable with timing and the place of connections which must have been done by now and had it been false the law enforcement agencies would have denied and claimed that the news report is absolutely false. ( No denial has come so far).
    When Americans can raid the place in Abbotabad without the knowledge of ISI / Army , Interview with Dr. Afridi is definitely much easier.

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  • sardar majid
    Sep 11, 2012 - 4:51PM

    what an absurd act of FOX News.How a prisoner could give an interview to a US agency with two commandos guarding him/ Fox news should have hired a sensible man to plan such things.Recommend

  • nomi
    Sep 11, 2012 - 5:44PM

    And we Pakistanis would deny everything.

    Seriously, if the Pakistan thinks that only islamic extremism can keep Pakistan together, we are gone.

    When we hate the US why are pretending to support it? For money? Equipments? What?

    Double games are so obvious. I fear what will happen if the US decides to end this game and gets tough with Pakistan. Recommend

  • Zeeshan
    Sep 11, 2012 - 6:04PM

    True Traitor…must be hanged !

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  • Enlightened
    Sep 11, 2012 - 6:24PM

    Pakistan is in the eye of a storm of the whole world by arresting Dr Afridi who helped CIA in locating OBL of which Pakistan claimed or pretended to be looking for the past one decade but he was found hiding in a Cantonment in heart of the country. Pakistan should get real and stop playing double game which is only causing more harm to it and getting them further isolated. Dr Afridi should be released without further delay otherwise more sanctions are on the cards which Pakistan can ill-afford.

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  • Hamza
    Sep 11, 2012 - 6:33PM

    We don’t know who is our enemy or we ourselves are enemies of the Pakistan? Can anyone tell me the truth?Recommend

  • Boycott
    Sep 11, 2012 - 8:02PM

    I love Fox News and CNN. Any news on what is happening to the newspaper that reported bogus passports for the Olympics? Has the Court case began or was it the usual talk and not the walk?

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  • janaan
    Sep 11, 2012 - 9:23PM

    i wonder where Mr Afridi got all this information from. if it is true, he truely is a spy and a not a doctor. and what about his claims against ISI. is ISI written on every wall of the prison and that every ISI man has been telling him stories about operations. thats absurd. and about peanuts $23billion given so far. more than half is what the americans owe us in military ops. and don’t forget a more than$100B lost in revenue and investment due this war in Afghanistan. remember Pak ranking in Asia in 2004,2005 and 2006. fastest growing economy, 2nd to China. where is that now. We owe nothing to the world but the world owes a lot to us.

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  • numbersnumbers
    Sep 11, 2012 - 10:28PM

    @janaan:
    And how much does the WORLD owe Pakistan for hiding OSAMA BIN LADEN in Abbattabad for all those years?

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  • RS
    Sep 12, 2012 - 7:52AM

    Here we go again, now he wants to enter in political arena. Keep it up man, you may get chance as well.

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  • Rehan Javed
    Sep 12, 2012 - 12:47PM

    @Fahim:
    Of treason? yah right!

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  • Usama
    Sep 12, 2012 - 5:37PM

    Not only ISI All Muslims think the same way… US is enemy… Whts new in this.. ???

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  • Sexton Blake
    Sep 12, 2012 - 8:36PM

    Dr. Afridi is obviously stirring up a hornet’s nest. Whether we like it or not he is popular in America, and the problem will not go away. However, ISI has the winning cards. The only thing stopping Pakistan taking advantage of the current situation is pride. It is doubtful whether Osama.B.Laden was at Abbottabad, and as usual the Americans did not come up with any evidence that would stand up in a court of law, but millions of people believe it, and this has upset ISI’s pride. If ISI handle this situation well they could hit several birds with the one stone. I am not fully aware of all Pakistan requirements, but the problem of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui remains. She has not been charged with anything more serious than attempting to assault the prison guards who were torturing her, and for this has been given 86 years in prison, a grave miscarriage of justice. Without being too optimistic I believe the Americans would be willing to negotiate Dr. Siddiqui, and several other outstanding items, at the very least, for Dr. Afridi. Returning Dr. Siddiqui would be a win for Pakistan pride, and she could well go down in history as a Pakistan heroine if the case was handled correctly. Doing a swap between the two doctors would be a win, win situation for both countries. Good opportunities only come up very occasionally. This one should be taken advantage of. Dr. Afridi is not worth worrying about. He will always do put-downs on Pakistan, and will go down as a hero in American history anyway. Why Fox news was allowed to interview him boggles the mind. However, it is indicative of Pakistan’s idea of fair play. This is something America would never allow, nor understand.

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  • Tanvir
    Sep 17, 2012 - 11:14AM

    This is a totally false story (like most stories on this anti-muslim, anti-Pakistan channel). Dr. Afridi claims he has not given any interview to any channel. Jail authorities testify his statement and say that he has not been provided any cell phone in jail. Is there any one who will sue Fox for such false stories.

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