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Pakistan refuses to issue identity Documents to Doctor’s kin who helped hunt Osama Bin Laden

Pakistani authorities have refused to issue identity documents to the family of Shakeel Afridi, a doctor who helped the CIA track down Osama Bin Laden

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Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has posted a tweet after the release of a 19-page Al Qaeda report in Arabic, which claimed Iran supported the extremist group before the 9/11 attacks. VOA
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Islamabad, Feb 3, 2017:  Pakistani authorities have refused to issue identity documents to the family members of an imprisoned doctor, who helped the CIA to hunt down Osama Bin Laden.

“The authorities have refused to issue identity documents on the pretext that Shakeel Afridi (the doctor) is on the list of people who are not allowed to leave the country,” said the doctor’s counsel, Qamar Nadeem.

The lack of these documents prevents them from voting, travelling and causes problems during enrollment at educational institutions, Efe news reported.

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According to Nadeem, Afridi’s wife and two of his three children, above 18, applied for the documents in December 2016.

He said the two adult children are facing problems in getting enrolled at university due to lack of documents.

A spokesperson of the National Database and Registration Authority, which issues the identity documents, refused to comment on the situation of the doctor’s family.

Zahid Hamid, minister for law and justice, recently said in the Senate that Pakistan will not free the doctor or hand him over to the US.

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The doctor’s case had come into the limelight again when the US President Donald Trump said, during his election campaign, he would get Afridi set free in two minutes if he won the elections.

Afridi took part in a false vaccination campaign in the northeastern Pakistani city of Abbottabad that was orchestrated by the CIA to obtain Bin Laden’s DNA samples and he was arrested shortly after Bin Laden was killed in a special operation by US Special Forces on May 2, 2011.

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A year later, Afridi received a 33-year prison sentence for links to terrorist groups, although it was subsequently reduced to 23 years in 2014. The sentence was severely criticized within and outside the country, and the US has termed it unjust and unnecessary. (IANS)

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A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

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Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

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Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)