PM Imran Khan hints at swap of Shakeel Afridi for Dr Afia Siddiqui

PM Imran Khan hints at swap of Shakeel Afridi for Dr Afia Siddiqui

*WASHINGTON – Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that**Shakil Afridi – **a Pakistani physician who helped the CIA run a fake hepatitis vaccine program in Abbottabad – can be released in exchange of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist jailed in the US for almost a decade.*

In an interview with American TV channel ‘*Fox News’* in Washington, the prime minister mentioned that Indian should come on the negotiation table. “Nuclear war not option, India must abandon nuclear weapons,” he added.

The prime minister said if India complies with this demand Pakistan will also not use nuclear weapons. He said Pakistan has a comprehensive and effective nuclear command and control system. He also reaffirmed that atomic programme of Pakistan in the safe hands.

Imran Khan said the armed forces of Pakistan are professional forces and are fully capable of dealing with every challenge. He said the United States is the only country which can play a role of *mediator between India and Pakistan to resolve the issue of Kashmir*.

The premier said that prisoner swap issue could be discussed with the United States. He said Pakistan and the United States were important allies in the war on terror and both the countries suffered loss due to mistrust in the past.

“Taliban should take part in the role of government as their representatives. America can get good news about their prisoners in Afghanistan in upcoming 24 hours,” PM Khan said.

He said that only elections could bring peace in Afghanistan as the US has been fighting a war in the country for the last four decades but failed to bring peace in the war torn country.

*Talking about US-Iran standoff*, the prime minister said that it could affect the peace and economy of the region.