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Won't release Shakil Afridi on US request: Pakistan

24 January, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday said it will not release Dr Shakil Afridi on the request of the US.

The Foreign Office spokesperson said Pakistan was not aware of the total sum that the US State Department and Department of Defense will allocate it shortly through the Consolidated Appropriations Bill 2014, but it does not appear to be perturbed at the decision of Congress to withhold $33 million from assistance in lieu of the release of Dr Shakil Afridi.

"We do not know what is the total sum that is to be allocated to Pakistan as it is up to the State Department and Department of Defense who will make it public soon. But as we announced on January 20, any linkage of the US assistance to this case is not in keeping with the spirit of cooperation between the two countries," the spokesperson told our sources.

Earlier, at the weekly media briefing, the spokesperson to a query said the entire allocation for Pakistan was not linked to Dr Shakil Afridi's detention.

"$33 million dollars allocation has been linked (to Dr Afridi). We have already made our position clear on that in the form of a statement. There is no possibility of Dr Shakil Afridi's release at the US request. The matter is sub-judice. If the courts exonerate him, that would be a different matter but you know that he has been convicted and the review process is taking place," she said.

The issue is expected to be taken up by Pakistan next week in Washington during the review of the Strategic Dialogue process between Adviser to the Prime Minister, Sartaj Aziz and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

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