PESHAWAR: The militants accused in court of conspiring with Dr Shakil Afridi who was recruited by the CIA to find Osama bin Laden said Thursday they had nothing to do with him and would kill him if they had the chance.
Shakil Afridi was sentenced to 33 years in jail after he was found guilty of treason.
Afridi was convicted by the court of treason under the penal code, but for alleged ties to Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI) and not for working for the CIA.
LeI, led by Mangal Bagh, is a militant organisation feared for kidnappings and extortion in the Kyber district.
The court order said Afridi had “close links” to the group, saying the doctor’s “love” for Bagh and his “association with him was an open secret”.
But a commander in the organisation told AFP that they had nothing to do with Afridi.
“We have no link to such a shameless man. If we see him we’ll chew him alive,” the commander said on condition of anonymity.
The court said Afridi paid Rs2 million ($21,000) to Lashkar-e-Islam and helped to provide medical assistance to militant commanders in Khyber.
But the commander said the $21,000 was a fine imposed for over-charging patients.
“Afridi and his fellow doctor were fleecing tribesmen, giving them fake medicines and doing fake surgeries. We had a lot of complaints against them and imposed a fine of two million rupees on them,” he said.
Local residents also told AFP that Bagh fined Afridi for performing “unnecessary surgeries and over-charging” patients at his private clinic in the town of Bara.