Six Save the Children staff in Pakistan will have to leave the country

Row centres on allegations, denied by the charity, that it had links with a doctor jailed for helping the CIA track down Osama bin Laden

A total of 2,000 Pakistani nationals work for Save the Children in the country
A total of 2,000 Pakistani nationals work for Save the Children in the country

Save the Children has been told by the Pakistani government that its six international staff working in their country will not have their visas renewed in a row over whether it had a role in tracking down Osama bin Laden.

The charity, which has 2,000 Pakistani nationals working for it in the country, issued a statement saying it was unclear why its staff had been asked to leave, and was "urgently seeking clarification".It said it was not sure when the staff would have to leave the country.

The charity has been accused of connections with Shakeel Afridi, a Pakistani physician who helped the CIA to run a fake vaccine programme in the city of Abbottabad in order to confirm that bin Laden was based in that area before he was killed by US forces in May 2011. Afridi was later jailed by the Pakistani authorities for 33 years for treason.

The Save the Children statement that it strongly denied those links."Dr Afridi was never employed by Save the Children, nor was he ever paid for any kind of work," it said. "We have never run a vaccination programme in Abbottabad.

 "Any allegation linking Save the Children to the CIA or any other security service is completely untrue. We are an impartial humanitarian organisation, with a mandate for helping children in the greatest need. This is what we continue to do in Pakistan."

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