Islamabad, Sep. 27: The first Pakistani prisoner to be set free from a controversial U.S. detention centre in Cuba, has given President Barack Obama a bitter reminder of his repeated promises to shut the notorious facility, where dozens of detainees continue to languish without trial.
Muhammad Sagheer, a former inmate of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center, said Obama had made the promise during his 2008 election campaign, and also after his victory in 2009, but he is yet to honour that commitment.
The Express Tribune reports that Sagheer hails from Kohistan district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and was held in Afghanistan’s northern Kunduz province in late 2001 along with hundreds of Taliban militants following the ouster of the Taliban regime.
He was dumped in a container with other Taliban fighters and transferred to an Afghan prison in northern Afghanistan before being sent to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. He spent a year in Guantanamo and was the first Pakistani to be freed.
“I still remember the mental agony I had to undergo at Guantanamo, but was expecting it would be closed. (President) Obama has broken his promise,” Sagheer said.
Obama had ordered the CIA in January 2009 to close down the facility within a year.
Sagheer, who remains wired with the rest of the world through radio transmissions in the remote mountainous Patan village, said Obama now had only few months ahead of his second election bid to fulfill his promise with the Americans and the rest of the world.
Sagheer had sued the U.S. government for damages worth over 10 million dollars for the inhumane treatment he had faced at Guantanamo, but said the U.S. never responded to the notices his lawyer had sent to the U.S. administration.
He also lashed out at the Pakistani Government for not providing any compensation to the families of the freed prisoners from the U.S.-administered detention facility.
According to The Miami Herald, as of September 2012, 167 detainees from 27 countries including Pakistan remain at Guantanamo. (ANI)