Pakistani prisoner released from US Guantanamo Bay after 18 years

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Islamabad: After 18 long years, a Pakistani prisoner, Saifullah Paracha was released from the Guantanamo Bay detention center, and on Saturday reached Pakistan, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

In the statement, the MoFA expressed satisfaction that a Pakistani citizen detained abroad was finally reunited with his family. The statement further said that the Foreign Ministry completed an extensive inter-agency process to facilitate the repatriation of Mr. Paracha.

Saifullah Paracha, 75, was the oldest prisoner at Guantanamo Bay and was held on suspicion of ties to Al Qaeda but never charged with a crime. His release was approved in May last year after more than 16 years in custody at the US base in Cuba.

Paracha, who lived in the US and owned property in New York City, was a wealthy businessman in Pakistan. The US had captured Paracha in Thailand in 2003 and had held him at Guantanamo since September 2004.

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