Pak exchanges Al-Qaeda commanders for detained family with Saudi Arabia

By ANI
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

LAHORE - Pakistan has reportedly swapped two Al-Qaeda members with Saudi Arabia in exchange for five of its citizens who were detained in Riyadh over drug-trafficking charges.

According to a private television channel, two sons of top Al-Qaeda leader Al-Alawi, who purportedly plotted a suicide attack on a Saudi Minister, were exchanged in return for five Pakistanis.

Sources said the Saudi authorities had informed Interior Minister Rehman Malik about the alleged terrorists following which they were nabbed from the tribal areas and were handed over to the Saudi authorities on September 18.

However, Malik has denied reports of any such swapping taking place.

“The release of the five Pakistanis was unconditional, and not a result of any deal,” The Daily Times quoted Malik, as saying.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Umer Khan Ali Sherzai also rejected reports about the deal, saying the release of the Pakistani family was the result of bilateral relations between both countries.

“The release of the Pakistani family was the result of bilateral relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, based on mutual harmony and common religious beliefs,” said Sherzai. (ANI)

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