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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

20 Pakistanis to be freed from Guantanamo: official

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, May 12, IRNA -- The United States has agreed to release 
some 20 Pakistani prisoners held at the Guantanamo Bay jail in Cuba by
the end of this month, a senior Pakistani official said on Wednesday. 
The United States has already freed 24 Pakistani prisoners from 
Guantanamo, and according to Pakistani officials there are still 40 
Pakistanis there. 
Faced with growing criticism at home on the continuous detention 
of these suspects, Islamabad has been trying to persuade the US for an
early release of all its remaining citizens. 
Last month, a three-member Pakistani team discussed the possible 
release of remaining Pakistani prisoners with the US official in 
Director General of the Crisis Management Cell in Interior 
Ministry Brigadier Javed Iqbal Cheema, who led the Pakistani 
delegation in Washington talks, said in Islamabad on Wednesday the US 
has agreed to free 20 more Pakistanis. 
A Pakistan investigative team, led by Cheema, had met most of 
these detainees last year in Guantanamo, and the team late said that 
majority of the Pakistanis are innocent and did not have any direct 
links with al-Qaeda and Taliban. 
Islamabad has been seeking an early release of all its citizens 
The government of President Pervez Musharraf has come under 
growing domestic criticism over the detention. Hundreds of Pakistanis 
were arrested in Afghanistan after the fall of the ruling Taleban 
militia because of suspected links with Osama Bin Laden`s al-Qaeda 
In March, Pakistani Foreign Minister Khursheed Kasuri announced 
that Islamabad and Washington had agreed to jointly screen the 
remaining Pakistani prisoners for their possible release from 
The announcement of the release of Pakistan has come at a time 
when the United States is being criticized for abuse of prisoners in 
Iraq and Afghanistan. 
The first Pakistani freed from Guantanamo, Mohammad Sagheer, has 
demanded 10.4 million dollars as compensation for his illegal 

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