12 Sep 2012

TV network told ISI sees US as Pakistan's worst enemy

5:35 am on 12 September 2012

A Pakistani doctor who helped the United States locate Osama Bin Laden's hideout has told a US television network that Pakistan's intelligence agency, the ISI, regards America as its worst enemy.

In an interview from his prison in Peshawar, Dr Shakil Afridi told Fox News that ISI officers who interrogated him said he'd helped Pakistan's worst enemy, worse even than the Indians.

Dr Afridi painted a picture of a regime of perpetual torture in the prison.

He was sentenced to 33 years in prison in May. Borrespondents say it is generally acknowledged he is being punished for helping the Central Intelligence Agency.

Prison officials contacted by the BBC were taken by surprise by reports of the interview, but did not rule out that a phone could have been smuggled into his cell.

The doctor is accused of using a fake hepatitis B vaccination campaign to try to obtain DNA samples of Osama Bin Laden's family.

Dr Afridi also said fellow inmates had told him that they had been advised to make things up to prevent interrogation by visiting CIA officers.

Dr Afridi said that he himself was "proud" to work with the CIA and would help the US again, despite the torture and psychological abuse he said he had suffered.