Pakistan Imposes Sanctions on Doctor Involved in Bin Laden Raid

Posted September 7th, 2011 at 12:20 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Pakistani officials have imposed sanctions on a local doctor who assisted the United States in its raid against al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden.

The Pakistani government-appointed Abbottabad Commission said in a statement Tuesday that anyone involved in the May 2 raid that killed bin Laden would be banned from travelling abroad without special clearance.

Dr. Shakeel Afridi is one of those affected by the sanctions, facing accusations of running a polio and Hepatitis B vaccination drive in the town of Abbottabad in an effort to obtain DNA samples of bin Laden's family for the United States. Afridi currently is being detained by Pakistani authorities, but has not been charged with a crime.

Meanwhile, Mark Kirk, a Republican senator from Illinois said Tuesday continuing to give aid money to Pakistan is “naive” and “counterproductive.” Kirk, a naval reserve officer, has just returned from a two-week deployment in Afghanistan.

He accused Pakistan's intelligence service of supporting the Haqqani network, a terrorist organization fighting against the coalition in Afghanistan.

Kirk recommended shifting the U.S. focus to Pakistan's rival, India, and working with them to help take over the rebuilding mission in Afghanistan as the United States withdraws its troops.

However, when asked about Kirk's comments, Illinois' other senator, Dick Durbin, disagreed. The Democratic lawmaker says U.S. aid to Pakistan does not cost very much and eliminating it could push Pakistan closer to U.S. enemies.

Relations between Pakistan and the United States hit a low point after the U.S. raid on bin Laden, which Pakistan sharply criticized as a violation of its sovereignty.

The Pakistani government set up the Abbottabad Commission following public anger over the raid. It is tasked with investigating how U.S. forces managed to track the al-Qaida leader down and carry out the operation in the garrison town of Abbottabad without Pakistan's prior knowledge. It also is focusing on how bin Laden was able to hide out in Pakistan for several years without being detected.

In July, the commission barred bin Laden's wives and children from leaving the country. Three of the al-Qaida leader's wives and children have been in Pakistani custody since the May 2 raid.