Former Guantanamo detainee Saifullah Paracha repatriated to Pakistan

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CNN

Saifullah Paracha, a former detainee at the Guatanamo Bay detention facility, has been repatriated to Pakistan, according to a statement from the Department of Defense.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin previously notified Congress in September of his intent to repatriate Paracha, who had been held in US detention since 2003 for alleged ties to al Qaeda.

The Defense Department statement said that “the United States appreciates the willingness of Pakistan and other partners to support ongoing U.S. efforts focused on responsibly reducing the detainee population and ultimately closing the Guantanamo Bay facility.”

A statement from Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that Paracha had arrived in the country on Saturday, adding that the Foreign Ministry “completed an extensive inter-agency process to facilitate the repatriation of Mr. Paracha.”

“We are glad that a Pakistani citizen detained abroad is finally reunited with his family,” the statement continued.

Thirty-five detainees remain at Guantamo Bay, the Pentagon said in its statement Saturday, adding that, “20 are eligible for transfer; 3 are eligible for a Periodic Review Board; 9 are involved in the military commissions process; and 3 detainees have been convicted in military commissions.”