The United States will soon free eight Pakistanis out of 29 still detained at Guantanamo Bay, a senior Cabinet minister said Tuesday.

"They are expected shortly," Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao told a news conference in the capital, Islamabad.

He said Pakistan had also sought consular access to its citizens detained at the high-security U.S. prison in Cuba.

Sherpao's comments came hours after a top Pakistani human rights activist said the United States should follow its disclosure of the names of all Guantanamo Bay detainees by allowing U.N. rights investigators complete access to the prison.