News East West
NEW DELHI: Pakistan has refused to free the doctor who helped the Americans track down Osama bin Laden in exchange for aid being withheld by the US.
The US Congress has withheld $33 million in aid to Pakistan until Dr Shakil Afridi, who helped the Central Intelligence Agency track down Osama bin Laden, is released.
“There is no possibility of Dr Shakil Afridi’s release at the US’ request. The matter is sub judice,’’ Pakistani foreign ministry spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said on Thursday.
The spokesperson said it was Pakistan’s internal matter and the US should not interfere in it as Dr Afridi has been accused of violating the country’s laws.
“If the courts exonerate him, that would be a different matter. But he has been convicted and the review process is taking place,’’ Aslam said.
Dr Afridi helped the CIA in tracking down Osama bin Laden by launching a fake vaccination campaign in Abbottabad and pin-pointing his hideout to the Americans.
The world’s most wanted terrorist was killed in a raid by US Navy SEALs on May 2, 2011.