US citizenship for Dr Shakil Afridi, says congressman

Rohrabacher said this bill shows the world that America does not abandon its friends.

Huma Imtiaz February 05, 2012

WASHINGTON: A United States (US) Congressman has submitted a bill to the House of Representatives asking to grant US citizenship to Dr Shakil Afridi, the doctor who provided vital help to the US in finding Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.

The bill submitted by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher on Friday, called for Dr Afridi to be deemed “a naturalized citizen of the United States.”

In his speech in Congress, Rohrabacher, who is also the Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight, said, “Pakistan's Inquiry Commission on the Abbottabad Operation, the US mission which killed bin Laden, has recommended that Dr Afridi be tried for treason for helping the US. If convicted, he could be executed. My bill would grant him US citizenship and send a direct and powerful message to those in the Pakistani government and military who protected the mastermind of 9/11 for all those years and who are now seeking retribution on those who helped to execute bin Laden.”

Rohrabacher cited media reports that Dr Afridi’s wife, an American citizen of Pakistani origin was also missing. “This bill shows the world that America does not abandon its friends,”  adding that 21 members of Congress had endorsed the bill as well.

The bill, which was referred to the Committee on Judiciary, comes after US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said in an interview last week that Dr Afridi had provided key intelligence that led to the raid in Abbottabad.

Media reports had earlier said that Dr Afridi had organized a polio vaccination campaign in the city for the Central Intelligence Agency, in order to collect DNA sample to prove that the al Qaeda leader was present in the Abbottabad compound.


vasan | 10 years ago | Reply

Truth seeker: Your analogy is pretty awful. 1. For a start, the owner, first off all, did not accept that the jewel was in his house. He claimed that the jewel was in neighbour's house 2. The servant since he was very obedient and honest, did not want to let the owner down, So he gave it to the "so called" cops, who had the authorisation to grab the jewel. 3. The most important point is this, We all thought that the servant caught a snake, Therefore he turned it over to the snake killer. To treat the snake as jewel, exposes your mentality.

Truth Seeker | 10 years ago | Reply

Let me explain the whole thing by an analogy.

A sweeper finds a priceless lost jewel while cleaning and instead of returning the jewel to its owner, he sells it for couple of bucks. Now, should we reward him for finding the priceless jewel or prosecute him for selling it illegally. Rewarded? Definitely, had he returned the jewel to the owner. Prosecuted? Depends; if you believe in the rule of law, he must be; if you live in a jungle and governed by whims then maybe not.

Here is Dr. Shakil Afridi, who's role and importance in this whole episode is nothing more than that of a sweeper. He was required by the law to inform the authorities when contacted by a foreign intelligence agancy, irrespective of how noble the cause it was. Instead of fulfilling his duties as a loyal citizen of the state and a paid employee of the government, in utter disregard for the law and out of greed for some bucks, he chose to work for a foreign spy agency. And you know, people who work for foreign spy agencies are not referred to as "Heroes", rather .....

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