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Interior Ministry’s negligence delays release of Saifullah Paracha, last Pakistani prisoner in Guantanamo Bay

In 2018, the same US judge who awarded 30 years sentence to Saifullah in 2003 and his son Uzair, overturned his own decision and ordered their released.

ISLAMABAD: The negligence of the Ministry of Interior has delayed the release of last Pakistani prisoner in notorious Guantanamo Bay jail.

This development surfaced on Monday in the meeting of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Human Rights in Islamabad.

74-year-old Saifullah, a businessman, has been in Guantanamo Bay prison since he was arrested from Bangkok in 2003. He was accused of having links with top Al-Qaeda leadership.

In 2018, the same US judge who awarded 30 years sentence to Saifullah in 2003 and his son Uzair, overturned his own decision and ordered their release.

Mustafa, son of Saifullah, told the Senate’s committee in Islamabad on Sept 5 that his brother Uzair has been released, but his father could not be released as the interior ministry did not confirm his nationality/identity to the US authorities since 2018.

Mustafa further informed the committee that his family is Pakistani by birth. His father and his brother were arrested in 2003 from Thailand and New York, respectively and they were awarded 30 years imprisonment and sent to Guantanamo Bay.

Mustafa regretted that his father was still in Guantanamo Bay because of the negligence of the interior ministry which failed to confirm his identity.

However, the officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the committee that the nationality of Saifullah has been confirmed by the interior ministry and it was also conveyed to the US government. They said that Saifullah will soon be released from the Guantanamo Bay.

Senator Walid Iqbal has sought a report on the issue to be submitted before September 15.

Javed Mahmood
Written By

I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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