US citizenship for Pak doc who helped find Osama?

Pakistani doctor Shakeel Afridi is potentially facing `treason` charges in Pakistan for helping CIA track down Osama bin Laden.

Washington: A group of US lawmakers are seeking American citizenship for jailed Pakistani doctor Shakeel Afridi, who is potentially facing `treason` charges in Pakistan for helping CIA track down slain al Qaeda chief
Osama bin Laden.

A Congressional legislation has been introduced in the US House of Representatives seeking citizenship for the doctor, who is currently in a Pakistani jail.

"... Today I have introduced legislation to grant American citizenship to Dr Shakeel Afridi, the Pakistan medical doctor who risked his life to identify Osama bin Laden and help US military forces bring him to justice," Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said yesterday.

If convicted he could be executed, the lawmaker from California pointed out.

"My bill would grant him US citizenship and send a direct and powerful message to those in the Pakistani government and military who protected the mastermind of 9/11 for all those years and who are now seeking retribution on those who helped to execute bin Laden," Rohrabacher said in the House of

The Afridi citizenship bill has been endorsed by more than a dozen top Congressmen including Bill Posey, Ted Poe and Roscoe Bartlett.

The legislation 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.

In an interview Panetta had said he is "very concerned" about his fate.

"This bill shows the world that America does not abandon its friends," Rohrabacher said.

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 committee looking into the Abbottabad raid had recommended that he be tried for high


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