Saifullah Paracha, a Pakistani incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay, will be released soon.
Senator Mushtaq Ahmed raised the issue of the continued imprisonment of 75-year-old Saifullah Paracha in Guantanamo Bay during a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights on Monday. He claimed that the US government has declared Paracha innocent and wishes to release him, and American authorities have been in constant contact with Pakistan regarding the return of their citizen.
Foreign ministry officials told the committee that there were currently three supposed Pakistani nationals incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay, who were awaiting their return, but the foreign ministry was waiting to verify their citizenship. The added that Saifullah Paracha’s citizenship verification has been completed, which is why he is to be released soon. The remaining two will be released once their verification is completed as well, they said.
The officials also said that they were bringing Paracha back but the US government added a condition on restricting Paracha’s travel and movement. The officials said they objected to this as Paracha was to return as a free citizen of Pakistan. They said the Guantanamo intern would return to Pakistan in a month.
Accused of having contacts with Al-Qaeda, Paracha was arrested in Bangkok, Thailand in 2003, and taken to Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan. He was shifted to Guantanamo Bay in 2004 where he has been held since.