ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar has said the fate of Shakeel Afridi is going to be decided by Pakistani courts and the government, and not by Donald Trump even if he becomes the US president.
The doctor, revered as a hero in the US, is serving a 33-year-long punishment in jail for treason.
Trump, in a recent interview with Fox News, had said he would ensure Afridi, who allegedly helped the US nab Osama bin Laden in Abbotabad, is freed from jail ‘within two minutes’ if he gets elected.
“I think I would get him out in two minutes. I would tell them [Pakistan] let him out and I’m sure they would let him out,” the Republican front-runner had said.
“Shakil Afridi is a Pakistani citizen and nobody else has the right to dictate to us about his future,” Nisar said in reaction to trump’s remarks.
The interior minister asserted it was not only about Afridi but Trump’s perception and comments about Pakistan in the interview were highly misplaced and unwarranted.
“Contrary to Mr Trump’s misconception, Pakistan is not a colony of the United States of America. He should learn to treat sovereign countries with respect.”
“Trump also seems to be ignorant, historically, of the huge scarifies Pakistan and its people have made while standing with or supporting US policies over the years.”
Trump had also said he planned to leverage US aid, “because we give a lot of aid to Pakistan. We give a lot of money to Pakistan.”
According to the interior minister, the ‘peanuts’ the US had given in return should not be used to threaten or browbeat Pakistan into following Trump’s misguided vision of foreign policy.
Nisar maintained Pakistan is a country, which had suffered much and the cost it had to pay in supporting US over the years had been mind-boggling.
On Saturday, Senate chairperson Mian Raza Rabbani also lashed out at Trump for his remarks, saying Pakistan is a sovereign country and will not succumb to dictations.