ISLAMABAD: The federal interior minister has said that Pakistan’s courts will decide the fate of a tribal areas doctor who had helped the American CIA track and kill al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in his Abbottabad compound in 2011.
Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s statement came a day after US Republican front-runner Donald Trump said in a Fox News interview that if elected, he would free Dr Shakeel Afridi in ‘two minutes’. Asked how would he do that? Trump said: “I would tell them [Pakistanis] let him out and I’m sure they would let him out.”
The Republican front-runner plans to leverage US aid, “because we give a lot of aid to Pakistan. We give a lot of money to Pakistan.”
Nisar took strong exception to Trump’s comments about Pakistan in general and Afridi in particular. “Shakeel Afridi is a Pakistani citizen, and nobody else has the right to dictate us his future,” he said. “Trump’s perception and his comments about Pakistan [in the interview] are highly misplaced and unwarranted.”
The interior minister said Pakistan was not a colony of the United States. “He [Trump] should learn to treat sovereign states with respect,” he added.
Nisar said Trump seemed to be ignorant of the huge sacrifices Pakistan and its people have rendered while supporting US policies over the years.
“The peanuts the US has given us in return should not be used to threaten or browbeat us into following Trump’s misguided vision of foreign policy,” he said. “Trump’s statement shows not only his insensitivity but also his ignorance about Pakistan.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2016.