Washington: Despite repeated request, Pakistan has not given any assurance on the release of the jailed Pakistani doctor who helped CIA agents hunt Osama bin Laden, a senior American official has said.
“We believe he’s been unjustly imprisoned, and we have clearly and repeatedly communicated our position to Pakistan on the Shakil Afridi case, both in public and private, our opposition to his imprisonment,” State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner told reporters on Friday.
“We continue to raise this issue at the highest levels in any discussion we have with the Pakistani leadership. The Pakistani government has assured us that Dr. Afridi is being treated humanely and is in good health, but we believe he’s being unjustly imprisoned,” he said.
Pakistan has given no commitment on the release of Dr.Afridi, who was jailed in 2012 for 33 years for running a fake vaccination campaign believed to have helped the U.S. intelligence agency track down bin Laden in Abbottabad in May 2011. That sentence was overturned in 2013 and the doctor is now in jail awaiting a new trial.
“We don’t have any kind of firm commitment. Again, we don’t have any firm commitment about his release or any firm details about his possible release. But we continue to press his case,” Mr. Toner said.