ISLAMABAD: The United States has denied media reports of a prisoner exchange agreement with Pakistan involving Dr Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani imprisoned in the US.
Pakistani media reported earlier this month that Pakistan had been offered by the US to sign a prisoner exchange agreement, calling for a release of Pakistani prisoner Dr Shakil Afridi in exchange for the release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui.
“No, the United States government is not in discussions with the Government of Pakistan on a prisoner exchange or transfer involving Dr. Aafia Siddiqi,” Meghan Gregonis, a spokesman for the US embassy in Islamabad has said.
The US embassy spokesman said that the government of Pakistan requested the transfer of Dr Aafia Siddiqui to Pakistan in 2010 when on September 23 she was sentenced by a US court to 86 years for having attempted to kill American soldiers.
Dr Aafia Siddiqui is currently being held in a maximum-security prison in Texas, US.
“However, we are not aware of a recent request from Pakistan to discuss her case, nor the case of Dr. Shakil Afridi,” he added.
“The United States and Pakistan do not have and are not negotiating a bilateral prisoner exchange agreement,” he added.
Afridi, a Pakistani doctor, aided the CIA in tracking down former Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Pakistan by running a fake vaccination campaign in Abbottabad.
He was sentenced for committing treason and is currently being held at a prison in Peshawar.