Dr Shakil Afridi says Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency calls the U.s. it’s worst enemy
He was sentenced to 33 years in prison in June
Dr Afridi helped the U.S. by setting up a fake vaccination programme that allowed him to collect DNA from bin Laden’s children
Pakistan suffered a black eye when it was revealed that bin Laden had been in their midst for years
PUBLISHED:16:47 EST, 10 September 2012| UPDATED:16:50 EST, 10 September 2012
The jailed Pakistani doctor who helped led the U.S. to Osama bin Laden’s hideout has revealed that Pakistan’s spy agency considers America its worst enemy.
Dr Shakil Afridi was sentenced to 33 years in prison in June after a Pakistani court found him guilty of treason for conspiring against Pakistan.
Dr Afridi says he has been subjected to torture and harsh questioning since his arrest days after bin Laden’s death in May 2011 as he tried to flee Pakistan.
The good doctor: Dr Shakil Afridi was convicted of treason in June, and sentenced to 33 years in prison despite leading the U.S. to Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Abottabad, Pakistan
In an interview with Fox News from his Pakistan jail cell, Dr Afridi says he has been told: ‘You helped our enemies.
‘They said “The Americans are our worst enemies, worse than the Indians.”‘
Dr Afridi said he tried to defend the U.S. as allies and supporters of Pakistan.
He told Fox news: ‘I tried to argue that America was Pakistan’s biggest supporter – billions and billions of dollars in aid, social and military assistance – but all they said was, “These are our worst enemies. You helped our enemies.”‘
Speaking out: Dr Shakil Afridi helped the CIA track down bin Laden and turned down an opportunity to leave Pakistan and resettle overseas with his family
Dr Afridi also warned that any cooperation by Pakistan is just a front for the country to collect billions of dollars in aid from the U.S.
“It is now indisputable that militancy in Pakistan is supported by the ISI… Pakistan’s fight against militancy is bogus. It’s just to extract money from America.’
Dr Afridi helped the CIA by running a fake vaccination programme that allowed him to collect the DNA of Bin Laden’s children from the family compound in Abbottabad.
Sample analysis confirmed the terror leader was probably there and triggered the deadly mission by US Navy SEALS last May.
The successful mission sparked a rift between the US and Pakistani leaders who were embarrassed that Bin Laden had been living in a major military hub close to the capital.
Dead: The killing of notorious terror leader Osama Bin Laden led to a decline in the relationship between Pakistan and the U.S.
Imprisoned: Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi talks with people outside a building at an unknown location, prior to his arrest
Shortly after the raid which killed Bin Laden, Dr Afridi was arrested for conspiring against the state of Pakistan and last month jailed for 33 years.
In May, outraged at Dr Afridi’s conviction, U.S. Senate panels voted overwhelmingly to cut aid to Islamabad by $33million – one million for every year of the physician’s 33-year sentence for high treason.
And perhaps Pakistan is feeling the pinch, as the doctor also claims that his life savings has been depleted after the ISI drained his bank accounts.
Dr Afridi told Fox News: ‘My bank account was looted, making me bankrupt. I need financial, legal and diplomatic help.’
Mission: The Al Qaeda leader was killed at this compound in Abbottabad by U.S. Special Forces
He added: ‘My situation is very grim. I earned millions of rupees (tens of thousands of dollars) a year and supported my family and that of my brother. All of that is lost.’
While Dr. Afridi is appealing his conviction, his chances are slim because of the arbitrary nature of the tribal court system where he is facing justice in Pakistan.
Officials from the United States have revealed in the past that they attempted to extricate Dr Afridi from Pakistan in the weeks after the bin Laden raid.
Unnamed U.S. officials said the resettlement offer for Afridi came around the time of the May 1, 2011, raid in which U.S. Navy SEAL commandos killed the al-Qaeda chief at his complex in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Tense: The moment President Barack Obama and his team watched the mission to find bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House on May 1, 2011