Pakistan denies US offered to free Aafia for Raymond, Afridi’s release

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MULTAN: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday denied the reports that the US offered to release Aafia Siddiqi in exchange for freeing Raymond Davis (in the past) and Shakeel Afridi. Talking to the media here on Saturday, the foreign minister said Aafia Siddiqi was the “daughter of the nation” and it was his desire that she should return to the country. “Efforts to bring her (Ms Aafia) back are under way at the diplomatic level. However, the government will not indulge in any such bargain,” he said.

He said the efforts were being made to unite all the forces of region as “we want the issue of Afghanistan be resolved peacefully. We want peace and stability in Afghanistan and will support every step which will bring betterment there,” he added.

He said the PTI government had nothing to do with the NAB cases as these were lodged before the party came into power. Mr Qureshi claimed the PPP would support the PTI government for the creation of new province (in south Punjab) unconditionally.

He said the petroleum prices would decline soon and there would also be betterment in regional affairs. Expressing concern over the dangerous surge in the air pollution in Lahore, he said the government would take solid steps to resolve the issue.