Islamabad: Pakistan on Monday condemned remarks by US Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump that he would ensure Pakistani physician Shakil Afridi, who allegedly helped the US kill Osama bin Laden, was freed from jail within two minutes.
Afridi, who is known in Pakistan as a CIA doctor and has been described as a hero in the US, is serving a 33-year-long jail term for treason.
Trump, who is famous for his controversial statements, talked about the Pakistani doctor in a recent interview with Fox News.
“I think I would get him out in two minutes. I would tell them (Pakistan) let him out and I’m sure they would let him out,” Trump said.
Pakistan Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said the fate of Shakil Afridi was going to be decided by the Pakistani courts and Pakistan government and not by Donald Trump even if he becomes the President of the US.
“Shakil Afridi is a Pakistani citizen and nobody else has the right to dictate to us about his future,” the interior minister said responding to Trump’s interview.
Khan said it is not only about Shakil Afridi but Trump’s perception, and the comments about Pakistan in his interview are highly misplaced and unwarranted.
“Contrary to Trump’s misconception, Pakistan is not a colony of the US of America. He should learn to treat sovereign countries with respect. Donald Trump also seems to be ignorant, historically, of the huge scarifies Pakistan and its people have made while standing with or supporting US policies over the years.”
Trump also said he plans to leverage US aid, “because we give a lot of aid to Pakistan. We give a lot of money to Pakistan.”
But the Pakistani Minister said the “peanuts” that the US has given to Pakistan in return should not be used to threaten or browbeat the country into following Trump’s misguided vision of foreign policy.
Khan said that Pakistan is a country which has suffered much and the cost it had to pay in supporting US over the years has been mind-boggling. He added that Trump’s statement only serves to show not only his insensitivity but also his ignorance about Pakistan.