Saifullah Paracha, a businessman from Karachi, has been held for 16 years now without any charges
Guantánamo Bay’s oldest inmate Saifullah Paracha – a 73-year-old Pakistan – has been approved for release from the prison after 16 years. His lawyers believe that it could still take him months before he is eventually released.
Paracha, a Karachi-based businessman who previously lived in the U.S. for a decade and a half, went to Bangkok for a business meeting with retail giant K-Mart in 2003. However, on arrival, he was arrested by a team of FBI agents and was taken to the Bagram base in Afghanistan. During his stay in the prison, he was never charged with any crime.
The U.S. law enforcement have declared him as an Al-Qaida facilitator in the events of 9/11, an accusation he denies. Prior to his arrest, Paracha was running a production house for private media houses as well as a garment-buying house with a New York-based partner that facilitated shipments between Pakistan and the US.
The 73-year-old has four children and suffers from diabetes and heart disease. He has suffered two heart attacks while in U.S. custody, one each in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.
Many people were arrested on mere suspicion and misinformation in the earlier 2000s by the U.S. Authorities. One hopes that Paracha’s release will materialize soon and he will be able to join his family.