Will free jailed Pak doctor who tracked Osama bin Laden: Donald Trump

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Apr 29, 2016 22:13 IST
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Crosby High School in Connecticut. (REUTERS)

If elected, Republican front-runner Donald Trump will free the Pakistani doctor who is in jail now for helping the US raid Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad in 2011.

“I think I would get him out in two minutes,” he said in response to a question during a Fox News interview Thursday, when asked if he would free Shakeel Afridi.


A file photo of Pakistani surgeon Shakeel Afridi who worked for the CIA to help find Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. (AFP)

And how would he do it? “I would tell them let him out and I’m sure they would let him out.”

He plans to leverage US aid, “because we give a lot of aid to Pakistan. We give a lot of money to Pakistan.”

Read | Trump says may seek India’s help over ‘unstable’ Pak’s nukes

Afridi was jailed in 2012 for 33 years for running a fake vaccination campaign that is believed to have helped the US intelligence agency CIA track down bin Laden, who was killed in the raid.

That sentence was overturned in 2013 and the doctor is now in jail awaiting a new trial.

Read | Nuclear-armed Pakistan a very, very vital problem: Donald Trump

Trump, who has been extremely critical of Pakistan in recent remarks, went on to accuse it of taking advantage of the US as everyone else.

Asked about Afghanistan, Trump said he would keep 10,000 troops in that country in view of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.

“I would stay in Afghanistan. It’s probably the one place we should have gone in the Middle East because it’s adjacent and right next to Pakistan, which has nuclear weapons. So I think you have to stay and do the best you can, not that it’s ever going to be great, but I don’t think we have much of a choice.”

Read | Trump aide lobbied for group that was front for Pakistan’s ISI

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