Clinton: 'No basis' to detain Pakistani doctor

February 29, 2012 - 3:25 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says Pakistan has "no basis" for detaining a Pakistani doctor who provided the U.S. with key information before the successful Navy SEAL assault on Osama bin Laden's compound.

Clinton says Shakil Afridi's work served Pakistani and American interests. She told a congressional committee Pakistan has no justification for holding his staff, either.

Afridi ran a vaccination program for the CIA to collect DNA and verify bin Laden's presence in the compound. Afridi has been in the custody of Pakistan's intelligence service since the bin Laden raid. A Pakistani government commission has recommended prosecuting him for treason.

Last month, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta acknowledged Afridi's contribution publicly for the first time.

Afridi's situation is among several points of contention between Washington and Islamabad. The May attack on bin Laden's compound and U.S. drone strike in November that killed 24 Pakistani troops have strained relations.