Afridi rejects US escape

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US authorities said Dr. Shakil Afridi who helped the CIA track down Osama bin Laden turned down an opportunity to leave his country and resettle overseas with his family, two US officials told Reuters on Tuesday.
Dr. Afridi was jailed last week in Pakistan for 33 years for treason and the Obama administration has come under steady criticism for its handling of his case.
The US officials said the resettlement offer for Afridi came about the time of the May 1, 2011, raid in which US Navy SEAL commandos killed the al Qaeda leader at his complex in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
They indicated that Afridi’s family would have been welcome to leave Pakistan with him as part of the resettlement plan. The officials said he rejected the offer for reasons that are unclear.
Afridi was accused of running a fake vaccination campaign in Abbottabad and used cheek swabs to try to gather DNA from bin Laden’s children to confirm the identity of those living in the compound.
The DNA effort ultimately did not succeed but US sources have told Reuters he helped American operatives locate and follow the bin Laden courier who led them to the Abbottabad hideout.
The offer for Afridi to leave Pakistan was confirmed independently by two US officials. The White House and State Department declined comment on the matter.
Afridi’s case has damaged US-Pakistan relations with outraged US senators voting last week to cut aid to Pakistan by $33 million – $1 million for each year of the doctor’s prison sentence.
Pakistan has said Washington should respect its court’s decision.
Post-raid arrest
Pakistani authorities arrested Afridi several weeks after the bin Laden raid. In the intervening period, US authorities believed they would have had ample time to get him out of the country if he had wanted to leave.
“Before he was arrested, Doctor Afridi was offered opportunities to leave Pakistan with his family but he turned those down,” one of the US officials said.
“Some may question why he did this but no one, including the doctor, could have foreseen that Pakistan would punish so severely someone whose work benefited the country so much,” the official said.
Another official said it was not usual for people in Afridi’s situation to reject resettlement offers. The official said Afridi may have believed that rather than becoming the object of character attacks and accusations of treason by Pakistani authorities, he might instead have won praise for his role in helping rid Pakistan of a threat to its security and stability.
Afridi’s brother Jamil has described the treason charges as baseless and said the doctor was being made a scapegoat.
“If my brother had done something wrong, he had a valid US visa. He could have fled the country,” Jamil said after the sentence was handed down, adding that the family had received no offers of help from the US government.
Deepening the controversy over the doctor, current and former Pakistani officials in interviews with Reuters during the weekend described Afridi as a hard-drinking womanizer who had faced allegations of sexual assault. They said he also performed surgeries without proper qualification.
US officials responded by defending Afridi and saying they knew of no reports of wrongdoing on his part.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Osama died years ago. This raid, this doctor and this bullshit is all acted out drama. This man should be jailed and i hope he dies of gangrene or something similar while in prison. Not only is this treason this is helping the American propadanga to defame the country. I hope he burns in hell

  2. Osama died years ago. This raid, this doctor and all are part of an acted out drama. This man should be jailed for even longer or hanged. Not only is this treason, this is sedation and criminal conduct, helping the American propaganda to defame the country in a highly negative way which will get more innocents killed. I hope he burns in hell Inshallah

  3. I do not care whether he worked for the ISI, the CDC, RAW or CIA. He unethically took DNA samples from unsuspecting patients, his actions strengthened suspicion against vaccines and vaccinators. Many children are going to be exposed to Polio in the tribal areas because of his actions (as if the lying Tehrik e Taliban were not enemy enough to poor children). He should be punished for criminal negligence in risking the spread of immunisable diseases.

  4. he shud be freed.. we are not even questioning y osama was there in the first place but we r first to jump on ghairat and qaum kai saath gadari ki bandwagon. if he is a traitor so is every one who has been involved in supporting these organisations within pakistan’s establishment with our hard earned money that we pay them in form of taxes. so that their cronies can blow up our mosques and other places. Instead of taking credit in osama’s capture and scoring some brownie points in front of the world. The policy makers once again made the wrong decision and now turning this whole fiasco into another embarrassment for pakistan.

  5. We constantly talk about threats to pakistan but in all honesty most of the threats to pakistan have always been internal. resulting from india and aid obsessed policies. Our government has fed us with lies and false propaganda that is the reason why there is so much disillusionment in pakistan. we can’t even learn to co exist with each other without hurling insults and picking up fights, how the hell we are going to live in a civilized world.

  6. OBL died years ago ,and ameircans were knowing that his family is living in pakistan . american wanted that some how OBL's death should be linked to pakistan to get double benefit , to pressurise pakistan and gain some populor vote of american ,shakeel helped them even he may not be knowing what americans want of him . If shakeel had known the american objective he may have not helped them

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