Men linked to Osama probe barred from leaving Pak

US had sought the release of a doctor who allegedly worked for the CIA to trace the al Qaeda chief.

Updated: Sep 06, 2011, 23:26 PM IST

Islamabad: The Pakistani commission probing
the US military raid that killed Osama bin Laden and his
presence in the garrison city of Abbottabad on Tuesday slapped
travel restrictions on all people related to the incident,
officials said.

The ban came just few days after reports said that the US
has sought the release of a doctor who allegedly worked for
the CIA to track down the al Qaeda chief in Abbottabad.

Dr Shakeel Afridi, who is currently in the custody of
security agencies, ran a fake polio vaccination drive on
behalf of the CIA in a bid to obtain DNA samples of bin
Laden`s family in Abbottabad, months before the world`s most
wanted terrorist was killed by US Special Forces on May 2.

"Abbottabad Commission has imposed a ban on travelling
abroad for all persons related to Abbottabad incident
including Dr Shakeel Afridi till further orders," a spokesman
for the Commission said.

"No such person should be allowed to leave the country
without clearance from the Abbottabad Commission," he said in
a statement.

Official sources have confirmed that US Secretary of
State Hilary Clinton telephoned President Asif Ali Zardari on
July 28 to seek his help in securing Afridi`s release, `The
Express Tribune` daily had reported on Sunday.

However, Zardari reportedly turned down the request,
arguing that the matter was before the judicial commission,
which has been investigating the circumstances surrounding the
death and presence of bin Laden in Abbottabad, sources said.

"The matter is sub judice and it is only the Abbottabad
Commission which will decide his (Afridi) fate," said an
official quoting Zardari as having told Clinton.

The official said that the detained doctor may be summoned
by the Abbottabad commission for questioning.
The high-powered commission, which is headed by retired
senior Supreme Court judge Justice Javed Iqbal, had already
barred the government from extraditing bin Laden`s widows and
other persons who are connected with this incident.

Afridi was one of several Pakistanis who were detained by
the country`s security agencies over allegations of working
for the CIA.

Afridi is yet to be charged formally, but if he is, he
could face the death penalty for collaborating with a foreign
spy agency. PTI Cable: Nigeria released known terror suspects
Lagos (Nigeria), Sep 6 (AP) A US diplomatic cable
released by WikiLeaks shows Nigeria released known terror
suspects, including some affiliated with al-Qaida`s north
Africa branch, as part of a programme known as "Perception
Management."

The cable says the Nigerian government did this to
placate elders in the country`s Muslim north.

The release of the suspects in early 2008 coincides with
the period when Nigerian authorities let go a man now
suspected of helping organise the August 26 car bombing of the
United Nations headquarters in the oil-rich nation that killed
23 people.

Bureau Report