News / Asia

Pakistan Denies Return of US Trainers

Pakistan army soldiers patrol in the vicinity of the army training camp in Mardan near Peshawar, Pakistan. (File)
Pakistan army soldiers patrol in the vicinity of the army training camp in Mardan near Peshawar, Pakistan. (File)
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
The Pakistani military is denying that U.S. military trainers have returned to the country, a move that would indicate a thawing of relations after coalition airstrikes mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani troops last November.

The Reuters news agency reported Wednesday that "fewer than 10" U.S. special operations soldiers had been sent back to a training site in northwestern Pakistan.  But in a text message to VOA Thursday, Pakistani military officials said the report was "incorrect, misleading and baseless."   

Pakistan suspended the U.S. training program and shut down the ground supply routes for U.S. and NATO soldiers into Afghanistan in response to the airstrike last year near the Afghan border. Coalition officials said the deadly strikes were an accident.

Doctor who helped CIA

In another development, a Pakistani militant group has denied having any ties to the doctor who helped Washington locate al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

Members of Lashkar-e-Islam said Thursday the group had no links to Shakil Afridi.  They called him a traitor and an enemy of Islam, and said they would punish him themselves if given the opportunity.

A court document released Wednesday showed a tribal court in the northwestern Khyber agency convicted Afridi of assisting militants in the region. The judgment said the doctor met with commanders of Lashkar-e-Islam, giving them medical treatment and financial help.

The court sentenced Afridi last week to 33 years in prison. He was accused of running a fake vaccination campaign to help the CIA obtain genetic samples of bin Laden and his family to confirm the al-Qaida leader's presence at a compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad. U.S. special forces killed bin Laden in a covert raid last May.

The document also says an investigation report contains evidence that Afridi collaborated with foreign intelligence agencies, but that the court in Khyber has no jurisdiction to act on the evidence. The tribal court recommended that such evidence may be produced before an appropriate court for further proceedings.

Afridi's brother, Jamil Afridi, said this week that Shakil did not get a fair trial and vowed to appeal the verdict. In an interview with VOA, Jamil Afridi also expressed concerns about his brother's detention, saying he should be given protection inside prison.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Frank
May 31, 2012 5:35 PM
the above report is incomplete. I read this somewhere that he had close ties to Lashkar e Islam and it is reflected from the fact that he gave some $12,000 to them too. This amounts to something at least. Also the punishment is on 4 different counts ... needless to say that putting lives of children in jeopardy by not professionally giving his services as a doctor and funding a banned outfit is a crime.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid