Espionage Charges: PM urged to release Dr Shakil Afridi

Oct 24, 2013| Courtesy by : tribune.com.pk

Chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ed Royce, urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to release Dr Shakil Afridi, the doctor who helped CIA agents in their hunt for al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

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Prime Minister Nawaz, accompanied with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani, National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz, met with members of the Foreign Affairs Committee at Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

According to a statement, Royce said, “I specifically pressed the prime minister to release Dr Shakil Afridi and encouraged him to ensure that his nation is in fact a responsible and effective partner in countering terrorism, proliferation and violent extremism in the region.”

Dr Afridi was sentenced to 33 years in prison without giving him an opportunity to defend himself but he filed a review petition to the Fata Tribunal demanding a fresh trial with the right to defend.

The meeting also focused on promotion of regional trade and greater trade with the United States, and importance of education reform, according to the Committee’s press release. The prime minister raised the issue of drone strikes and Kashmir dispute while outlining his vision for regional peace.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2013.