The US is very desperate to get Dr Shakeel Afridi into USA as their precious guest; they will give him nationality and maybe he can even join the UNO as an honorary visitor! After all, to them, he is the hero who located the ‘Most Wanted Man in the World.’ To most Pakistanis he is a man who is either a traitor or belongs to a notorious Taliban terrorist group! Which version is the truth God only knows?

Now the US authorities are eager to honour and award him for his betrayal and insincerity to Pakistani. More insulting is the news that Dr. Afia Siddiqi is being released from the jail and sent to Pakistan in exchange! An exchange of Dr. Afridi for Dr. Afia, they are neither equal nor parallel to each other, they are poles apart. The release of Dr. Afia in exchange of Dr. Afridi would be a disgrace and an insult to the nation, but on the other hand we all may wish Dr Afia a safe life in Pakistan.

I strongly believe that Dr. Afia is a patriot whereas Dr. Afridi is a traitor. The government of Pakistan must refrain from exchanging a traitor with a patriot. Dr. Afridi is a culprit who worked for the enemies of Pakistan; he must not be extradited to US. He is a Pakistani national and must undergo a fair re-trial for neglecting, ignoring and disregarding service norms and honour of state, for few dollars. The government of Pakistan must recall the episode of Raymond Davis, whom the US authorities did not hand-over to Pakistan. Why are we so helpless that we have to handover the traitors of our country to those who want to portray them as heroes?

It is true that in case Dr. Afridi is not handed over to US, the government of Pakistan will have to bear a lot of American pressure but in the larger interest of the country, the government must swallow this pill. Though the release of Dr. Afia from American custody is a dream and desire of most Pakistanis but no one among the nation would be in favour of materializing this dream at the cost of national honor and repute.


Multan, September 6.