ISLAMABAD — Pakistan's foreign ministry says that no "deal" is in the works between Islamabad and Washington for the release of a physician who helped the United States track down Osama bin Laden in 2011.

Thursday's comment by the ministry's spokesman, Mohammad Faisal, came days after Pakistani authorities moved Dr. Shakil Afridi from a prison in the northwestern city of Peshawar to an undisclosed location, triggering speculation about his possible release.

Afridi has languished behind bars since 2012, when a court convicted him and sentenced him to 33 years in prison over ties with militants.

He was never formally convicted of helping CIA find bin Laden, which led to the May 2011 Navy SEALs operation that killed the al-Qaida mastermind.

Washington seeks Afridi's release but Islamabad insists he violated the country's laws.