Burney flays handing over Pakistanis to US -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Burney flays handing over Pakistanis to US

PESHAWAR: Condemning the handing over of Pakistani citizens to the US and other countries, caretaker Federal Minister for Human Rights Ansar Burney here on Thursday expressed concern over the fate of prisoners languishing in prisons in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

“I don’t think the Government of Pakistan has done anything for the prisoners who are languishing in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay prisons,” the minister said in response to a question by a reporter as to why it was not possible to secure the release of Pakistani prisoners even after the unconditional release of Kashmir Singh.

The federal minister was on a visit to Darul Kafala, the home to beggar children in Peshawar. The minister took the 32 children living in Darul Kafala on a picnic trip to the scenic Kund National Park, located at the confluence of Indus and Kabul Rivers in Nowshera.

Talking to journalists at Darul Kafala, Burney said he would have taken some steps for securing the release of Pakistani prisoners held in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay but his term as caretaker minister was about to end.

However, he said that as a human rights activist he would raise his voice for Pakistani prisoners who were suffering in the US detention centres in Guantanamo Bay and Afghanistan. “I was the first person who raised his voice for the prisoners of Guantanamo Bay and will continue to do so,” he added.

About the release of Kashmir Singh, he said negative propaganda following the release of Singh and the sad demise of Khalid Mehmood had badly damaged the process for the release of Pakistanis languishing in Indian jails. “We released Kashmir Singh as a goodwill gesture but the way some journalists portrayed the issue after the death of Khalid Mehmood is not logical,” Burney said.

He said Singh was a spy but he had spent about 35 years in prison and thus completed his imprisonment. “Kashmir Singh was not my relative. He was released with a message of peace and humanity to the world community,” he said.
Source: The News
Date:3/21/2008