Oldest Guantanamo Bay prisoner to be extradited to Pakistan soon, says govt

Pakistan, US authorities in contact; completing necessary formalities


News Desk/Radio Pakistan November 19, 2021
PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD:

The federal government on Friday said that Saifullah Paracha, who is the oldest prisoner at the notorious Guantanamo Bay jail, will soon be returning to Pakistan.

During the Question House in the Senate meeting held under the chairmanship of Sadiq Sanjrani, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Senator Mushtaq Ahmed had asked that despite the seventy-three-year-old being cleared by the prison review board earlier this year, Paracha had not returned to Pakistan.

Replying to his query, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said that the government was coordinating with the US authorities for the repatriation of Paracha and some other Pakistanis from Guantanamo Bay.

In a written reply to the Senate, the US State Department stated that Washington was in contact with Islamabad and the two countries were completing the necessary formalities for Paracha’s extradition to Pakistan.

Also read: US approves release of Pakistani inmate from Guantanamo

Stating that Paracha was acquitted by the US court, PPP Senator Taj Haider questioned: “Is the Pakistani government seeking compensation from the US for Saifullah Paracha? Will this improve Pakistan's foreign reserves?”

Moreover, Senator Ahmed also condemned the extra-judicial killing of Kashmiris on Thursday in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

“Their bodies were not allowed to be buried. Even the funereal prayers were not allowed," said the JI senator, adding that when all this was happening, the parliament was busy passing bills regarding Kulbhushan Jadhav.

Earlier in May, it was reported that Paracha’s family excitedly await his return after more than 17 years as the US government approved his release.

The family which lives at a high-end locality of the southern port city of Karachi received the news with delight of the proposed release of Paracha, who had been arrested by US intelligence personnel from Thailand in 2003 on the charge of having links to Al-Qaeda.

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