Bergdahl spent much of his captivity in Pakistan: US
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): Sgt Bowe Bergdahl, who was released by the Taliban last week, had spent much of his five years in captivity in Pakistan, the Pentagon said Tuesday, and refuted reports that any ransom was paid for his release.
“We do have reason to believe that for much of his captivity he was held in Pakistan. We also believe that he was moved around. And it's very likely that his captors changed hands over the course of those five years,” the Pentagon Press Secretary, Rear Admiral John Kirby, told reporters at a news conference.
Kirby said the US has had a constant dialogue with Pakistan over this throughout the course of his five years. “We are grateful for the communication that we had with Pakistani authorities throughout this thing. But I wouldn't go into any more detail than that,” Kirby said in response to a question.
“But in light of the ISI's close connection to the Haqqanis, it's more than dialogue that I imagine would have been requested and valued by the US government in terms of seeking him out, right?” he was asked. “I'm just going to tell you we never lost focus on this and we never stopped trying to get him,” Kirby responded. “We have a close relationship with Pakistan on counterterrorism efforts. That continues,” the Pentagon spokesperson said.
Both the Pentagon and the White House refuted reports that any ransom was paid. “I've seen these reports that suggest that a ransom was somehow paid, and those reports are inaccurate,” the White House Deputy Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, told reporters at his daily press briefing.
“Not from the United States government, not from a third party, none?” he was asked. “That's correct,” Earnest reiterated. A similar answer was given by the Pentagon too later in the day.
“No money was exchanged to secure Bergdahl's release,” the Pentagon Press Secretary, Rear Admiral John Kirby, told reporters at a different news conference. “There was no US money paid to secure Sergeant Bergdahl's release,” he reiterated.
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