Former Governor and Virginia senate candidate Tim Kaine is calling for the release of a Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA locate Osama Bin Laden.
Dr. Shakil Afridi was convicted of treason Wednesday in Pakistan and sentenced to 33 years in prison.
Dr. Afridi helped the U.S. pin down the location of Bin Laden before he was killed last year, by collecting the terrorist leader’s DNA.
Kaine released this statement Friday:
“Thousands of American deaths and injuries on 9/11 and since–as well as deaths around the world–were caused by Osama bin Laden. He was the most notorious terrorist of this generation. Dr. Afridi is a hero for helping us find Bin Laden so that we could decimate Al Qaeda and make the world safer.
“We don’t leave our people behind. Dr. Afridi played a critical role in helping American intelligence locate Bin Laden. Pakistan’s absurd treason conviction gives the appearance of aligning their government with Al Qaeda and against the interests of all peace-loving nations.
“America provides ample financial support for Pakistan and the relationship has been an important one. Hundreds of thousands of Pakistani-Americans in this country contribute greatly to our society. These bonds are strong.
“But, we cannot allow Dr. Afridi to languish in a Pakistani prison and be persecuted for helping to stop terrorism. We should use every diplomatic and financial means at our disposal–and engage other nations in the same cause–to ensure that Dr. Afridi is released and able to move with his family to the country of his choice.
“As we approach Memorial Day, we need to remember all who’ve sacrificed for this country, especially those who’ve sacrificed life and health since 2001. But let’s also remember a Pakistani friend of this country–and of peace-loving people everywhere–by loudly demanding that Dr. Afridi be freed.”