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23.07.2019 21:20 News >> Pakistan Signals Prisoners Swap Agreement With US

Pakistan Signals Prisoners Swap Agreement With US

PM Khan said his country could negotiate on prisoners exchange with Washington.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has signaled for possible prisoners swap agreement with the United States to exchange detained prisoners in future.
During an interview with U.S. broadcaster Fox News, Khan said that so far no negotiation has taken place, however they could talk on prisoners exchange in future.
Replying to a question on release of Shakil Afridi, a doctor who helped CIA track down slain Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in northwestern Pakistan in 2011, Khan said they could negotiate some sort of a swap.
"There are some decisions in a democracy which even a prime minister finds difficult because we do have an opposition. But this is something that can be negotiated. As we know the US wants Shakil Afridi and we also have someone in prison in the US, a frail woman called Aafia Siddiqui, so yes we could negotiate some sort of a swap," Khan said.
Afridi, who had been arrested soon after the U.S. operation in Abbotabad and initially sentenced to 33 years in jail in 2012 however the sentence was later reduced to 10 years following his appeal against the judgment. Even though he was accused of running a parallel spy network for the CIA in Pakistan, he was never tried on those charges.
While Aafia Siddiqui, who graduated from MIT and did her PhD from Brandise University in Education, had gone missing in Pakistan in 2004 along with her three minor children before she was discovered in a U.S military base in Bagram, Afghanistan in 2008.
In 2010, Aafia was sentenced to 89 years in prison by a U.S. court for attacking an American soldier in Afghanistan.
"Afridi in Pakistan is considered as U.S. spy," Khan explained.
Lamented on U.S. operation in Abbotabad in 2011 without Pakistan had taken into confidence, Khan said his country suffered 70,000 casualties in this fight while his country always felt that they were an ally of the U.S. and that they had been given the information about Osama bin Laden, they should have taken him out, Khan recalled.
"Pakistanis were embarrassed as they thought we were an ally of the US and the US did not trust us, they actually came in and bombed and killed a man [OBL] in our territory," Khan said.
He revealed that it was the ISI [Pakistan spy agency] which gave the information that led to the location of Osama bin Laden.
Talking about the safety of nuclear arms in South Asia, Khan said his country has one of the most comprehensive command and control system of nuclear weapons.
"There is no need to worry about Pakistan's nuclear weapons as we have one of the most professional armies and one of the best command and control of our nuclear weapons," Khan told the Fox News.
"The U.S. knows about our system as we share intelligence with Washington about the safety system of our nuclear weapons," he added.
Responding to a question on India, Khan said nuclear was not an option between Pakistan and India. "The idea of nuclear war is actually self-destruction," he concluded. -



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