Pak doctor prosecution unjust and unwarranted: Clinton

Washington: The 33-year jail term to a Pakistani doctor who helped CIA in finding Osama bin Laden has created outrage in the US with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling it "unjust and unwarranted" and a Senate panel voting to cut aid to Islamabad.

"We are raising it and we will continue to do so because we think that his treatment is unjust and unwarranted," Clinton told reporters during a joint press conference with the visiting New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully.

"We are in the midst of a series of discussions with the Pakistani Government on a range of issues that are important to the US and the international community. We certainly consider the treatment of Dr Afridi to be among those important issues," she said.

Clinton said the US does not believe there was any basis for holding Afridi guilty.
"We regret both the fact that he was convicted and the severity of his sentence. His help, after all, was instrumental in taking down one of the world`s most notorious murderers," she said.

"That was clearly in Pakistan`s interests as well as ours and the rest of the world. This action by Dr Afridi to help bring about the end of the reign of terror designed and executed by bin Laden was not in anyway a betrayal of Pakistan And we have made that very well-known and we will continue to press it with the Government of Pakistan," she said.

Clinton`s remark came as top US lawmakers expressed their outrage over Afridi`s prosecution, with Senator John Kerry, known as one of the best friends of Pakistan in the Congress, warning Islamabad that such moves would make things difficult for them in the US.