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Home >> World
UPDATED: 07:11, July 03, 2006
Pakistani team to visit Guantanamo prison: minister
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Pakistan will send a delegation to the Guantanamo Bay on July 19 to meet and seek for Pakistanis languishing in the prison, Pakistan's Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao said Sunday.

The minister told the private Geo television that Pakistan had constituted a team to assess plight of the Pakistani prisoners in Guantanamo.

Officials said that Director-General of the interior ministry's National Crisis Management Cell (NCMC) Brig Javed Iqbal Cheema would lead the three-member team.

Pakistani authorities have not yet confirmed the number of Pakistani prisoners in the camp.

Sherpao said last month that about 35 Pakistanis were languishing in the Guantanamo Bay. He, however, said that the exact number of Pakistani prisoners was yet to be confirmed.

The minister said that of the total detainees, eight had been identified and they would be repatriated soon.

About 67 Pakistanis have already returned to the country from the Guantanamo Bay, the minister said.

Reports said the U.S. authorities had asked Pakistan to keep a vigilant eye on all the prisoners repatriated from the Guantanamo Bay.

Esa Khan of Bannu in Pakistan's northwest frontier province, a freed Guantanamo prisoner, has said that the government has imposed restrictions on all former Guantanamo prisoners that they cannot go out of their hometowns without police information.

"We have also been told not to go to public parks and religious seminaries and also avoid meeting young people," Khan said.

Most of these Pakistani were arrested in Afghanistan in late 2001 and early 2002 after the Taliban government collapsed as the result of U.S. attacks.

Sherpao said that a Pakistani team would also visit Bagram, a U. S. base 50 kilometers north of Kabul to meet Pakistani prisoners there.

It is believed that several Pakistani prisoners have also been kept there.

Sherpao welcomed a ceasefire by the Pakistani Taliban in the North Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan and hoped that it would have positive impact on the situation in the volatile region.

He said that the security forces had shown restraint despite attacks on army and paramilitary forces after the Taliban announced one-month ceasefire late last month.

Source: Xinhua

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