Foreign ministry says Saifullah Paracha, last Pakistani incarcerated at Gitmo, will soon be released
The officials of the ministry of interior told the Senate’s Standing Committee on Human Rights that Saifullah Paracha, the last Pakistani incarcerated at infamous Guantanamo Bay, will soon be released as the ministry has confirmed his identity and conveyed it to the US authorities.
74-year-old Saifullah, a businessman by profession, has been in Guantanamo Bay detention center since he was taken into custody from Bangkok in 2003. He was accused of having alleged links with top Al-Qaeda leadership.
On Monday, Saifullah’s son Mustafa appeared before the standing committee meeting chaired by Senator Walid Iqbal that was discussing the issue of Pakistani citizens who are detained in Guantanamo Bay jail.
Mustafa told the committee body that his family is Pakistani by birth. He said his father and his brother were arrested in 2003 from Thailand and New York, respectively. They were awarded 30 years imprisonment.
In 2018, the same judge who had awarded them the sentence overturned his own decision, he said. The court ordered their released and his brother was set free.
Mustafa said unfortunately his father is still incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay as the interior ministry failed to confirm his identity.
The officials of the foreign affairs ministry informed the committee that the nationality of Saifullah has been confirmed by the interior ministry and it was conveyed to the US government. They said that the victim will soon be released.
Senator Walid Iqbal has sought a report on the issue to be submitted before September 15.
Who is Saifullah Parachi
Paracha, 74, has been in Guantanamo Bay detention center since he was taken into custody from Bangkok in 2003. He was accused of having alleged links with top Al-Qaeda leadership.
Paracha remains in the law of war detention, a State Department spokesperson told this correspondent, referring to a legal framework that the United States government has used for holding people contrary to the law applied on American soil.
In 2005, a federal court in New York convicted Paracha’s son, Uzair. He was accused of providing support to terrorism. He was charged, in part, based on testimony from the same witnesses held at Guantanamo whom the US relied on to justify holding his father.
Uzair, however, was released and sent back to Pakistan in March 2020 after the US government decided not to go for a retrial after a judge rejected those witness testimonies.