Washington: The US on Monday underlined that anyone who assisted it in its operation against Osama bin Laden was working against al Qaeda amid fears that a Pakistani doctor who played a key role in the covert operation could face `treason` charges in Pakistan.
The comment from Pentagon Press Secretary George Little came in response to a question on Pakistani doctor Shakeel Afridi, who is potentially facing `treason` charges in Pakistan for helping CIA track down slain al Qaeda chief bin Laden in Abbottabad last May.
A group of US lawmakers have been seeking American citizenship for Afridi.
"I am not going to comment specifically on matters related to Dr Afridi," Little said, when asked what steps the US is taking to ensure his security inside Pakistan where he is facing treason charges and has been jailed for the past eight months.
"That being said, I would make the point that anyone who assisted the United States in finding Osama bin Laden was working against al Qaeda and not Pakistan," Little told reporters during an off-camera news conference at the Pentagon.
Afridi was arrested from his home on May 22 last year after it was found out that he had helped the CIA in confirming bin Laden`s location. A Pakistani committee looking into the Abbottabad raid had recommended that he be tried for high treason.
A Congressional legislation has been introduced in the US House of Representatives seeking citizenship for the doctor. The Afridi citizenship bill has been endorsed by more than a dozen top Congressmen including Bill Posey, Ted Poe and Roscoe Bartlett.
The move by the lawmakers came days after Defence Secretary Leon Panetta accepted for the first time that Afridi "was an individual who in fact helped provide intelligence that was very helpful" to the operation which killed bin Laden.