Pakistan yet again shows which side it is on. That Pakistani authorities imprisoned Afridi in the first place is bad enough. To seek to exchange him for a woman who tried to murder American soldiers is even worse — for there is little doubt that Aafia Siddiqui would go free as soon as she was returned to Pakistan. She is already celebrated as a hero there.
“Pakistan may seek to trade hero Afridi for Al Qaeda-linked terrorist,” by Sib Kaifee for FoxNews.com, July 26 (thanks to Maxwell):
Pakistan is preparing a proposal to swap the doctor who helped the CIA pinpoint Usama bin Laden for a notorious female neuroscientist and suspected Al Qaeda operative being held at a federal prison in Texas, FoxNews.com has learned.
The exchange would involve Dr. Shakil Afridi, the pro-America doctor whose vaccination ruse helped establish the terror kingpin’s presence in an Abbottabad compound prior to the Navy SEAL raid that killed him, and Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. Siddiqui is a U.S.-trained neurosurgeon who left Massachusetts after 9/11 and resurfaced in Afghanistan where she was arrested for trying to kill U.S. soldiers.
Khalid Sheikh Muhammed told U.S. authorities Siddiqui was an Al Qaeda courier and operative. A State Department spokesman acknowledged that Pakistan has been eager to get Siddiqui extradited, but said no deal is in the works.
“The government of Pakistan requested her transfer to Pakistan in 2010,” spokesman Patrick Ventrell said. “However we are not aware of a recent request from Pakistan to discuss her case, nor the case of Afridi.”
Siddiqui is currently serving a sentence of 86 years at a maximum security prison in Fort Worth, Texas. She has denied the charges and role with Al Qaeda.
A Pakistani Interior Ministry official who requested anonymity told FoxNews.com the prisoner exchange is still being drafted. The official said it would take at least a month before the newly formed task force constituted by Pakistan’s Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan can finalize an agreement to present to the Obama administration and discuss the terms of a deal….