Imran Khan says Dr Shakil Afridi could be traded for Aafia Siddiqui
WASHINGTON: In an interview with Fox News in Washington, Prime Minister Imran Khan has talked about possibilities of swapping of prisoners Dr Shakil Afridi and Dr Aafia Siddiqui with the US.
When asked about releasing Afridi, PM Imran Khan said that it was an emotive issue in Pakistan as he was considered a spy in the country.
“The way it (the operation in Abbottabad) was done it really embarrassed Pakistan at a time when we were ally with the US in war on terror,” he said.
To a query, he said there were some decisions that even a prime minister found difficult to make, as you have opposition in a democracy.
On Shakil Afridi’s release, the PM said it was something that could be negotiated.
“We also have someone in US prison, a frail woman called Afia Siddqui and we could negotiate a swap,” he said.
“The talks have not started yet, we know that US wants Shakil Afridi and we could negotiate.”
On his meeting with the US president at the Oval Office, Imran Khan said he liked Trump for his straightforwardness. “Pakistan and the US are important allies in the war on terror and both the countries suffered loss due to mistrust in past.”
On denuclearisation in the subcontinent, Prime Minister Imran said nuclear war was not an option and India must abandon its nuclear weapons.
He said if India complied with this demand Pakistan would also not use nuclear weapons. He said Pakistan had a comprehensive and effective nuclear command and control system.
Imran Khan said the armed forces of Pakistan were professional forces and were fully capable of dealing with every challenge.