No deal with US to hand over Dr Shakeel Afridi, FO insists


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ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office (FO) on Thursday denied rumours that the sudden decision to move Dr Shakeel Afridi, who was imprisoned for his alleged links to a banned militant group, from Peshawar to Adiala Jail was part of a possible deal with the United States government.

Addressing a weekly briefing, FO spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal insisted that government authorities were not planning to swap Afridi for Aafia Siddiqui — who is currently serving a sentence in a US jail for trying to kill US agents and military officers in Afghanistan — or former Pakistani ambassador Hussain Haqqani who resides in the US and is the prime suspect in the Memogate scandal that surfaced in 2011.

Dr Faisal turned down questions about media reports claiming that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had tried to stage a jailbreak in Peshawar in order to rescue Afridi, saying he had no information about the matter since it concerned the interior ministry.— INP