US concerned over welfare of Pak 'CIA' doctor

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Washington, Jun 2: The US has voiced concern over the welfare of a Pakistani doctor, sentenced to 33 years in prison after he helped the CIA trace Osama bin Laden, saying that he is being held "unfairly" and "unjustly".

"We're obviously very concerned about his welfare. It's something that we've conveyed, obviously, from the highest levels of the State Department," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters yesterday. "The Secretary (of State) spoke about this. We also are raising it bilaterally through our Ambassador, Cameron Munter, who I believe met with the (Pakistan) Foreign Minister just a day or so ago and raised this issue again. We're being very clear that we're concerned about his welfare," he said.

Toner said that the US has not yet received any response on the clarification it sought from Pakistan on the reason for Afridi being sentenced. "We're still seeking clarity on what these new charges –where they came from and what, in fact, they mean. As far as I know, we've not received any response, but it hasn't changed our basic position, which is that we think he's being unfairly, unjustly held.

"And what he did was in Pakistan's interest, as well as our own, which is to take down one of the biggest mass murderers of the 21st century," Toner said.


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