US wants Pakistan to release doctor who helped track OBL: Report

Published: July 13, 2011
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ISI detains Afridi, recruited by CIA for carrying out fake vaccination programme in Abbotabad, trying to track OBL. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISI detains Afridi, recruited by CIA for carrying out fake vaccination programme in Abbotabad, trying to track OBL. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Washington is persuading Islamabad to release a doctor – said to have helped in tracking Osama bin Laden using DNA samples – in the wake of bitter diplomatic relations, the Guardian reported.

Dr Shakir Afirdi is being held by Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) after it discovered that he was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for carrying out a fake vaccination programme in Abbottabad, trying to track down al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

According to the report published earlier in the Guardian, Afridi, a senior government employee, was initially taken into custody in Peshawar but may have been transferred to Islamabad.

Pakistani and US officials say that American authorities are trying to rescue the Pakistani doctor, his wife and children, and take them to the US.

The news of bin Laden living comfortably in Pakistan and the clandestine operation carried by US forces in Abbottabad on May 2 which killed the slain al Qaeda chief, has brought Pakistan-US ties to crossroads.

As a result of this, US announced that army aid funded to Pakistan that sums about US$800 million has been halted.

Pakistan army, however, has kept a stance of fighting terrorists solo, even if the US stops pouring army aid in Pakistan.

Earlier today, ISI chief Shuja Pasha left for Washington to meet with his US counterpart discuss intelligence matters.

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Reader Comments (24)

  • Amer
    Jul 13, 2011 - 12:43PM

    It would be a huge mistake if Pakistan releases this doctor. Why can’t the agencies grow a spine? they can’t punish someone for treason?Recommend

  • Ba Ha
    Jul 13, 2011 - 1:09PM

    What he did as a govt.servant is excusable only if he is mentally retarded. Recall that America hanged the the Jewish couple (Julius and Ethel Rosenberg) for selling H-bomb secrets to the USSR. This man gave fake medicine to children. Hanging him is too good for him

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  • Saleem
    Jul 13, 2011 - 2:15PM

    Release him??? I say we should hang him… ghadaar!!

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  • dextor
    Jul 13, 2011 - 2:29PM

    US please take all our politicians with you…please please….

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  • Nadeem
    Jul 13, 2011 - 2:59PM

    If ghaddar means doing what the CIA orders one to do – for money or for some other gain, such as power – then there is a long, long list of ghaddars. A few of the names would be Gen. Zia ul Haq, Gen. Musharraf, Gen. Akhtar Abdur Rehman, Gen. Ayub Khan, Gen. Yahya Khan. Let the poor doctor go. The real ghaddar are the army persons who lodged OBL in Pakistan knowing that a hungry tiger (US) will tear the country apart looking for him.

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  • Jul 13, 2011 - 2:59PM

    When it is done by US citizens, it is different.
    When US citizens do something, it is forcefully good.
    For example, stealing a land that was never theirs was good.
    When others try to recapture land that was theirs, it is bad.
    US=good, others= bad.
    This is the US world order and the US citizens nature is eternal.

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  • Fahad Raza
    Jul 13, 2011 - 3:46PM

    What else can we expect from Americans..? The doctor is now a fair game to be tried for treason.

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  • Ali
    Jul 13, 2011 - 4:05PM

    @Saleem:
    why is he a ghadaar? That statement is something an uneducated person would make.

    Its the Pakistan Army’s fault that they didnt know the most wanted man in the world was in their backyard. So if the CIA with the help of this Doctor got rid of OBL – BRAVO! The Doctor should be given a medal of honor not locked up.

    Its sad to see how our countries priorities have gotten worse

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  • Sad Panda
    Jul 13, 2011 - 4:17PM

    So the poor doctor helped a foreign government catch a foreign born terrorist. So the poor doctor is now a traitor? Nadeem is right, the doctor must be allowed to go where ever he wants to go.

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  • Sam
    Jul 13, 2011 - 4:49PM

    @Sad Panda:

    OH MY GOD can u not see whats wrong here… if he had any information on OBLs location he should have shared it with Pakistan…. he should be trialed for treason!

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  • Salahuddin
    Jul 13, 2011 - 5:24PM

    @Nadeem:

    How genius u r that calling wolf a tiger?????????????????????

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  • Salahuddin
    Jul 13, 2011 - 5:26PM

    @Ali: I think we have numer of meer jafar & Meer Sadiqs????? Why USA need to send his men here for completion of its nafarious aims.

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  • Sad Panda
    Jul 13, 2011 - 7:06PM

    @Sam. If the good doctor is a traitor than so is Mush. Mush not only handed Shamsi base to the Americans he also handed Alqaida terrorist for a price of …. you guessed it $5000. Same way Mush helped Americans so did Dr Afridi. Therefore, we should let the good doctor go.

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  • Dallas Ali
    Jul 13, 2011 - 10:52PM

    Pakistan should release the doctor. He did the noble thing as any red blooded human being should do.

    OBL had created nothing but anarchy, lawlessness and bloodshed in Pakistan. His well deserved death is not an end to his rich legacy of atrocities globally as his justice will be served by our maker God.

    Incidentally most of his victims were Pakistani Muslims and it is sad to see them defending this barbaric and merciless person.

    Personally I was offended when US Navy gave him a Muslim burial that he did not deserved.

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  • Amer
    Jul 13, 2011 - 10:54PM

    @Sad Panda: Please stop the “good doctor” crap! Agreed that Mushy sold alot of people to anybody who was paying him $$ and he should be tried for teason as well but that in no way justifies what this doctor did! Please don’t give everything a political color!
    Pakistan is one of the only countries in the world where polio still exists and polio can be eliminated thru vaccination at a young age. I know for a fact that people have different theories about vaccination across the rural and urban fabric of Pakistan, specially in the FATA region. This doctor used vaccination as a method of getting DNA from the OBL family and that’s my main objection. He should never have cooperated with a forgien agency in the first place but then he also betrayed the dignity of his oath.
    I and many other Pakistanis also want the people who sheltered OBL to be brought to justice, whoever they were. They also need to be tried for treason.

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  • SH
    Jul 13, 2011 - 11:56PM

    The word for passing sensitive information that affects national security on to foreign governments is called espionage. Look it up. As stated above, if the good doctor had intelligence, he should have shared it with the Pakistani authorities and as a citizen of Pakistan, and a senior government servant at that, is liable for prosecution for treason. There is no justification for demands for leniency…the US certainly would show any mercy if the situation was reversed and every nation has the right to enforce their laws.

    As for everyone above going into listing other “traitors,” sell-outs and the like; well, that isn’t really the matter at hand. This is about this one particular case. Take it one case at a time and we might actually get somewhere rather than constantly comparing and bickering.

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  • Grace
    Jul 14, 2011 - 12:37AM

    This Doctor should have been working with the state’s authorities instead of a foreign agency in Pakistan. This proves that the doctor is anti state. Yes we all want OBL and all criminals out of the country and brought to justice but we don’t want every foreign country to operate freely in our land as though we are nothing! The principle means everything. Jail the doctor and tell the West that we don’t need aid if it means giving up our sovereignty.

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  • mike
    Jul 14, 2011 - 2:18AM

    @Grace
    If OBL was residing in Abbottabad, its common sense he was put there with the well wishes of ISI/Army. Whenever the information of his whereabouts was given to the state earlier he was promptly moved to another location. Only a retarded idiot would repeat giving the information again. Unfortunately the poor Doctor forgot that he is living in a country where they will punish those that helped in getting rid of OBL but no one will be punished for giving him sanctuary. Perverted sense of values!!!

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  • Dallas Ali
    Jul 14, 2011 - 7:07AM

    I need to revisit this subject. Like I said earlier that Doctor Afridi did the right thing. He cause NO harm and should be rewarded for his good deed.

    It was not a Pakistani Govt. national security issue. Pak Govt has all along considered OBL as its enemy and was using scores of Intelligence resources to capture/kill him.

    The right thing for Pakistan is to release him. Dr. Afridi and his family will be welcomed here in Texas with open arms; we in US are indebted for his unrelenting services to the humanity in getting this (OBL) violent, vicious and sadistic person wiped off the face of this earth.

    Pakistans should as Americans should rejoice over the OBL demise, and no good deed should go unrewarded. Release him NOW.

    Dr Afridi Welcome to the State of Texas.

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  • SH
    Jul 14, 2011 - 12:26PM

    @ Dallas Ali: How very cowboy of you.
    “No harm” huh? “NOW?” Violation of a country’s borders is harm. It’s actually an act of war. That’s how the US views it even when non-state actors perpetrate it, forget actual nations.

    As a brown boy sitting in the “State of Texas” think a little bit about how the US would react if a foreign country sent troops in to kill/capture Terry Jones, considered by most on this side of the world to be a renegade fanatic. Wouldn’t go so well huh? And if you were the local contact that helped the foreign country, the US would skewer you and your american passport!

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  • Dallas Ali
    Jul 14, 2011 - 11:16PM

    @SH

    Was was pondering all morning if your note should even be dignified with an answer.

    But maybe I can educate you to clear up some racial and ethnic ignorance’s; #1 I was born in Ohio and settled in the TX, and a mature 57 years old (boy), it is my privilege if I decide to own a US passport.

    Again OBL was a mutual enemy not just US or Pak. but a global enemy. Dr Afridi did the righteous thing and God’s words are “Blessed be the peace makers”. Should Afridi’s decide to come to TX; we will have a community drive to make Afridi’s feel right at home. TX = Home of the Brave – Land of the Free.

    As for Terry Jones he did the wrong thing, but exercised his constitutional rights; if Pakistan Govt or any other Govt has nerves to go after TJ they can sure try and face the consequences.

    Pakistan is a classic example of biting the hand that feeds it.

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  • Mastishhk
    Jul 15, 2011 - 4:23AM

    @ SH….Your contention is that Dr Afridi passed on sensitive information related to OBL to USA where as he should have shared that intelligence with Pak Army.Do you seriously believe that Pak Army had no knowledge about OBL’s presence in Abbotabad???? In many cases it has come to light that whenever such inteligence has been shared with Pak Army it was passed on to terrorists giving them time to escape. It is Pak Govt’s stated position that OBL was an enemy of the state. Now if u wanted to get rid of OBL and other criminal elemants then why do you appear rattled when finally he has been eliminated.Dr Afridi committed no wrong. He was hired by US to help them in tracking down OBL and he sure contribut to that and fulfilled that committment. Can you say the same about Pakistan Government and the Army. They have gobbled up billions off dollars for their supposed assistance in war on terror but when it comes to delivering on that promise they develop cold feet. They harbour and provide safe sanctuaries to the terrorists they are supposed to be hunting(Example -Osama Bin Laden).

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  • Sam
    Jul 15, 2011 - 12:30PM

    @Sad Panda:

    what does mush ahve to do with this specific case? ill tell u NOTHING.. stop deviating from the topic.. its about this doctor in specific.. if u want to bring in other issues into limelight then this isnt the forum for it..

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  • Dallas Ali
    Jul 15, 2011 - 7:16PM

    @Mastishhk:
    Well said. Hit the nail on the Head!!

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