The Muslim Times’ Editor for Pakistan
Credit: Xpress Tribune
WASHINGTON: US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, offering US reaction to the sentencing of Dr Shakil Afridi on Wednesday, said that they see no basis for Dr Afridi to be held.
In a press briefing, Nuland said that the Secretary of State and Defense have addressed this issue in the past. She said said that they have regularly taken up the issue of Dr Shakil Afridi with Pakistan, and will continue to do so.
In response to a question, Nuland refused to comment on his sentencing.
Afridi verdict shocking
Meanwhile, US Senators John McCain and Carl Levin termed the sentencing of Dr Afridi as ‘shocking’ in a joint statement.
“It is shocking and outrageous that Dr Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who assisted the United States in the search for Osama bin Laden, has been sentenced to 33 years in prison for the crime of treason,” the statement read.
“What Dr Afridi did is the furthest thing from treason. It was a courageous, heroic, and patriotic act, which helped to locate the most wanted terrorist in the world – a mass murderer who had the blood of many innocent Pakistanis on his hands,” it defended Dr Afridi.
“Dr Afridi’s actions were completely consistent with the multiple, legally-binding resolutions passed over many years by the United Nations Security Council, which required member-states to assist in bringing Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network to justice. Dr Afridi set an example that we wish others in Pakistan had followed long ago. He should be praised and rewarded for his actions, not punished and slandered,” it said. More