Afridi case: Pak clarifies but US refuses to budge
Washington: Pakistan has formally informed the US that sentencing of Shakil Afridi was not linked to his help in tracing Osama bin Laden, but this has not changed the view of Obama administration that 33-year imprisonment to the physician was not justified, a senior US official said.
"We continue to express our concerns about his continued incarceration. We have actually gotten some clarity that the charges against him are not related to the bin Laden case apparently," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters at his daily news conference.
"We did get a response from the Pakistani Government. This, however, doesn't change our view that the prosecution and conviction of Dr Afridi sends the wrong message about the importance of our shared interest in taking down one of the world's most notorious murderers, bin Laden. So we would just continue to urge the Pakistani Government to consider his appeal," he said.
The US, he said, believes his conviction and sentencing send the wrong message about people who are trying to cooperate to bring down a terrorist like Osama bin Laden.
There's an appeal process underway and that that should be considered, he noted.
Responding to questions, Toner said the US was very much cognizant of the fact that extremism and terrorism remains a threat to Pakistan's stability, to its citizens.
"Nobody's suffered more from these kinds of terrorist attacks than the people of Pakistan," he said.