40 Pakistanis still at Guantanamo, some may be freed
By Khalid Hasan
Washington: A list of 370 Guantanamo prisoners, out of the total of 600 kept there, published Sunday, contains the names of 57 Pakistanis, 17 of whom have already been released.
The Pentagon refuses to identify the prisoners by nationality and even declines to give their exact number. The list released by Washington Post, the newspaper says, has been put together from a host of sources, including media reports, the Red Cross and prisoners’ families.
A three-member delegation from Pakistan led by Brigadier Cheema (first name not available) concluded a number of meetings here last week with Pentagon officials. It is expected that 20 or more prisoners will be released as a result of that. There are unconfirmed reports that in August 2003, the United States offered to repatriate all or most Pakistani prisoners to Pakistan, but was told by Islamabad that it would prefer that the interrogations be completed at Guantanamo and only those found “clean” be sent to Pakistan. The vast majority of Pakistanis or alleged Pakistanis at Guantanamo, one Pakistani official told this correspondent, was innocent of any involvement in terrorism or al Qaeda.
The Pakistan embassy has failed to provide any information.
According to the Washington Post list, the following 40 Pakistanis are detained at Guantanamo: Muhammad Abbas, Ejaz Ahmed, Sarfraz Ahmed, Sarfraz Ali, Syed Salim Ali, Aminullah Amin, Muhammad Anwar, Muhammad Ashraf, Haseeb Ayub, Fazal Dad, Muhammad Hanif, Muhammad Ilyas, Zafar Iqbal, Mohammad Irfan, Azizullah Jan, Aziz Khan, Badshah Khan, Hamoodullah Khan, Issa Khan, Muhammed Ejaz Khan, Kifayatullah, Muhammad Ali, Munir bin Naseer, Muhammad Nauman, Muhammad Omar, Muhammad Rafiq, Abdul Rahim, Abid Raza, Muhammad Arshad Raza, Abdul Rehman, Hafiz Khalil-ur-Rehman, Hafiz Ehsan Saeed, Muhammad Saeed, Abdul Sattar Safeesi, Abdul Sattar, Syed Zia Hussain Shah, Zahid Sultan, Muhammad Tariq, Muhammad Tariq and Badar-uz-Zaman.
Seventeen have been released. They are: Ahmad Ali, Muhammad Anwar, Faiq Iqbal, Muhammad Ishaq, Muhammad Jamaluddin, Ejaz Ahmed Khan, Muhammad Kashif Khan, Tariq Aziz Khan, Hafiz Liaqat Manzoor, Abdul Maula, Majid Mehmood, Talli Mehmood, Abdul Razaq, Muhammad Sagheer, Ghazi Salahuddin, Jan/Jehan Wali and Qaisir Zaman.