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Homeland Security

US allows Pakistan to meet prisoners at Guantanamo: Minister

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, May 20, IRNA

The United States has allowed a Pakistani team to meet its national still languishing at the Guantanamo detention center, the country's interior minister said on Saturday.

There are still 29 Pakistani prisoners in Guantanamo and eight of them are likely to be freed shortly, Aftab Sherpao told reporters in Peshawar.

A Pakistani team will shortly travel to Guantanamo to meet the prisoners after the United States has given permission, Sherpao said.

A list of the Guantanamo prisoners recently issued by the US Defense Department said that there are 13 Pakistani prisoners in the detention facility.

However, the US later told Pakistan that 29 Pakistanis are still in Guantanamo.

There were a total of 67 Pakistani prisoners in Guantanamo and the US authorities have so far freed 38 of them.

Sherpao said that a team would also be sent to Afghanistan to meet Pakistani prisoners at Bagram and other jails adding that efforts would be made for their release.

The minister's statements coincide with the release of a list of the detainees currently or formerly held at the Guantanamo prison, naming 759 people and their nationalities.

The interior minister dismissed as inappropriate allegations by Afghan President Hamid Karzai that Pakistan is sending militants to Afghanistan for attacks.

"We have always tried for peace in Afghanistan," Sherpao said.

About the situation in the restive tribal region, he said that a grand tribal jirga, or council, is being formed to help restore peace in the region.


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