Pakistani Officials Arrest Iraqi Doctor Suspected of Treating Members of Taliban

Pakistani security officials working with FBI agents have arrested an Iraqi doctor on suspicion of treating members of Afghanistan's ousted Taliban regime, his family and a colleague said Saturday.

Pakistani police and three Americans arrested Dr. Shokat Nafeh Hekmat at his home in Quetta, a western city near the Afghanistan border, on Oct. 16, his son, Mustafa Nafeh, told The Associated Press.

"Since then we have not heard anything about him," Nafeh said. "God almighty knows that my father has nothing to do with the Taliban or Al Qaeda."

Police and government officials said they were not aware of the arrest.

Hekmat's alleged arrest came just a few days after security forces released another Pakistani doctor, who was detained last month in the eastern city of Lahore on suspicion of having links with Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Dr. Amer Aziz was released without explanation Nov. 19 after being held for almost one month. During his detention, he was questioned by CIA and FBI agents about the Taliban and Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden, he said.

Anis-ur-Rehman, a senior official at the Al-Mushty Al-Had Al-Nisa hospital where Hekmat works, said authorities told him Hekmat was being held for questioning.

"The government has not told us why they are holding him," Anis-ur-Rehman said. "We treat patients without distinction of religion, faith, color or race. We have treated Afghan refugees, not the Taliban."

Pakistan is a key supporter of the U.S.-led war against terrorism and has backed the U.S.-led military operation in Afghanistan that ousted the Taliban a year ago.

Pakistan has handed more than 400 Taliban and Al Qaeda suspects over to U.S. officials after their arrest in different parts of the country.