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

In this 1998 file photo made available on March 19, 2004, Osama bin Laden is seen at a news conference in Afghanistan. VOA

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)