CIA helper, others barred from leaving country

ISLAMABAD: Abbottabad Commission, investigating the May 2 raid by US marines, on Tuesday imposed ban on travelling abroad of all the individuals including Dr Shakeel Afridi, who is allegedly linked with the American spy agency CIA.The judicial commission met in the chair of recently retired judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan Justice Javed Iqbal.

The spokesperson of the commission issued a statement that no person who is related to the inquiry can travel abroad without obtaining permission from the commission. The list of individuals on whom the ban applies also includes the name of Dr Shakil Afridi.Afridi allegedly assisted the CIA in its hunt for Osama bin Laden by undertaking a polio vaccination campaign in a failed attempt to get hold of the DNA samples of someone from the bin Laden family.

It is worth mentioning here that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on July 28 had telephoned President Asif Ali Zardari, seeking help in securing save passage for Dr. Afradi but she was informed that matter was subjudice where only the Commission was empowered to decide the fate of Dr. Afradi. Currently Dr. Afradi is in custody of the law enforcement agencies.The commission is required to look into security deficiencies, if any, and make recommendations on how to prevent such incidents in future.The terms of reference of the commission require it to ascertain facts about the presence of Osama in Pakistan; investigate circumstances and facts regarding the US operation; determine the nature, background and causes of lapses by the authorities concerned, if any; and make recommendations. – Nation