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Tuesday, 29 October, 2002, 15:16 GMT
Pakistan holds freed Guantanamo inmate
A detainee from Afghanistan is carried on a stretcher before being interrogated by military officials at Camp X-Ray
More than 600 men are still being held at the base
The family of a Pakistani man freed on Sunday from a US military base in Cuba are still waiting for him to return home.

Mohammed Sagheer was seen arriving back in Islamabad after months in captivity, but has since been in Pakistani custody.


If he is found clean he will be released, otherwise he remains under detention

Pakistani spokesman
His relatives and friends in North-West Frontier Province have appealed to the authorities to reveal his whereabouts, and are concerned about his health.

But officials say Mr Sagheer will be released only if he passes further questioning, and refuse to say where he is being held.

"The Pakistan Government will ask him questions - after all he was in Afghanistan at the time of detention," official spokesman Major-General Rashid Qureshi told the BBC.

"If he is found clean he will be released, otherwise he remains under detention."

'Not a warrior'

Some reports say Mr Sagheer was a member of a banned extremist organisation which sent thousands of its members to Afghanistan to fight for the Taleban.

Friends and relatives dismiss the allegation out of hand.


My father is not a warrior or terrorist, he is a simple Muslim

Son of Mohammed Sagheer
"People who go out to propagate Islam have nothing to do with terrorism, or violence. Sagheer was just unfortunate that he was arrested," a neighbour told the BBC.

According to one of Mr Sagheer's sons, his father went to Afghanistan with a missionary team, and not to fight US-led forces.

Another son - Mr Sagheer is thought to have 16 children by two wives - denied point blank that his father was a militant.

"My father is not a warrior or terrorist, he is a simple Muslim," he told the AFP news agency.

Not a threat

Mr Sagheer, released along with three Afghans, is the first of 58 Pakistanis held in US custody in Guantanamo Bay to be freed.

Prisoners at Guantanamo's Camp X-Ray - the precursor of today's Camp Delta
Pakistan hopes more prisoners will be released soon
They were arrested by US-led coalition forces during the campaign to root out al-Qaeda fighters based in Afghanistan.

The US says the men are no longer considered a threat, or of further use to the intelligence services.

Pakistani officials say they expect more of their citizens to be repatriated, but have given no indication of any timescale.

Human rights groups have criticised the US for holding about 600 men from some 40 countries at Guantanamo indefinitely, without bringing any charges against them.


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29 Oct 02 | South Asia
02 Sep 02 | South Asia
28 Aug 02 | South Asia
25 Jun 02 | Americas
19 Aug 02 | South Asia
30 Apr 02 | Americas
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