PESHAWAR: A tribal tribunal on Wednesday again adjourned the hearing of a review petition filed by a doctor who is accused of helping the US find al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden leading to the infamous Abbottabad raid.
The adjournment came days after Islamabad signalled to Washington that it may be willing to discuss the contentious issue of handing Dr Afridi over to the US, where he is viewed as a hero.
Dr Shakil Afridi, who had sought a revision of his conviction before the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) Tribunal, saw the hearing adjourned for the 41st time on Wednesday without any progress in the case.
The reason behind the adjournment was that the tribunal no longer functions since the tribal areas had been merged into the rest of K-P following a landmark constitutional amendment in early June.
The case will now be heard on December 4, 2018.
Qamar Nadeem, Dr Afridi’s lawyer, expressed concern over his client’s wellbeing while being held under high-security at the Sahiwal prison and stressing on the urgency of the petition.
“The jail superintendent has subjected him (Dr Afridi) to continuous mental torture,” Nadeem alleged.
Nadeem added that the Fata Tribunal is a ‘so-called court’ which has been adjourning the review petition filed against the punishment granted by the political administration of Khyber Agency under the draconian Frontier Crime Regulation (FCR) on ‘flimsy grounds.’ against which they reserved their right to appeal while the FCR commissioner had also ignored several facts while upholding his conviction.
Afridi, who was serving as a surgeon in the Khyber Agency, was accused of running a ‘fake’ vaccination drive ostensibly to identify bin Laden’s location.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2018.