Terror chief’s family: Bin Laden’s widows charged with illegal entry, stay

Published: March 9, 2012
Rehman Malik says adults detained under the Foreigners’ Act, children ‘free to leave’. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Rehman Malik says adults detained under the Foreigners’ Act, children ‘free to leave’. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE


Osama bin Laden’s widows have been charged with illegally entering and living in Pakistan, Interior Minister Rehman Malik revealed on Thursday.

“The wives were presented before the court. After that, they are on judicial remand, and are being kept in a proper, legal manner,” Malik told reporters.

“Cases have been registered against the adults, not the children,” he added.

The children are living ‘comfortably’ in a five-bedroom house in Islamabad, Malik said, adding that they “are free to leave for wherever they want to.”

Malik’s details, however, were sketchy. He did not specify which court was dealing with the case, or where the women are being held.

“The [wives] would only be allowed to leave the country if they meet the legal requirements,” the interior minister said.

The al Qaeda leader was killed in a secret raid by US Special Forces in Abbottabad in May last year.  His three wives and an undisclosed number of children were detained by Pakistani authorities after the raid.

“Bin Laden’s family was handed over to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for judicial custody. Their entry in Pakistan was illegal,” a senior official quoted Rehman Malik as informing the Abbottabad commission on Wednesday.

Malik said that a copy of the FIR registered against Bin Laden’s family members under section 14 of the Foreigners’ Act is available with the interior ministry, the official added.

Two of the wives are Saudi nationals, and one is from Yemen, according to the foreign ministry. Authorities had previously said they will repatriate the women to their home countries after the Abbottabad commission completes its probe.

Legal detention

“Osama’s family is being provided legal assistance under the Foreigners’ Act,” said a senior official from the interior ministry, currently overlooking nearly two dozen family members living in a house in sector G-6 of Islamabad.

“Foreigners who are living without proper documentation can be prosecuted under the act,” added lawyer Ahmer Bilal Soofi.

“They can be interned and retained under these laws,” he added.

“If the family members are found guilty, they can be punished under the Foreigners’ Act for up to five years,” said Hashmat Habib, a senior lawyer, when asked to comment on the issue.


Published in The Express Tribune, March 9th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Sajid
    Mar 9, 2012 - 9:30AM

    Then why are we putting Dr. Afridi, who helped find illegal immigrants and world’s number 1 terrorist, on a trial again?


  • Tariq
    Mar 9, 2012 - 9:48AM

    Both Hamid Gul and Zaid Hamid were categorical in stating Osama was not killed in Abottabad. Now when the courts have recognised his wives, how come we do not get a reaction from them?


  • AWA
    Mar 9, 2012 - 10:47AM

    What a country ?


  • Mar 9, 2012 - 6:10PM

    In the very out set,would like to address my arguments on the raid made on the house of Osama Bin Laden situated in Abbottabd ,Pakistan,

    American Government declared him OBL a ”most wanted”and announced heavy prize on his arrest and heavy bounty for those leading to his apprehension.

    American secret agency traced him,special mission sent ,who raided the house without prior permission of the government of Pakistan,he was killed and thrown in to the sea,.

    Here is a case with similar story,
    an accused,had been president of the country,handed over the power and gone abroad,in his absence a criminal case was registered against him,apex court issued his arrest warrent but he disobeyed.
    According to the FIR, he is involved in Benazir assassination,in this way he comes in the category of ”most wanted”.

    Government of Pakistan,adopting a line of international law formally requested the Interpol Police for his arrest not sent a secret mission to abroad not committing any crime by raiding any place.

    On the information, United States should contacted Pakistani authority and requested for his OBL arrest but they violated the international law and cross the border of sovereign state.

    Now the question before us regarding the widows of OBL,In fact they committed no crime,they were not ”most wanted”A wife under the tradition religious law a wife have always live under the order of his husband.Widows of OBL had been born sons and daughters not taking part in war against any country so deserve to free.

    On the other hand Islam has special mercy for women captured during the war and after the war.


  • Mar 9, 2012 - 6:18PM

    It is very considerable,
    the circumstances being faced by widows,was not a state of peace
    they should apply for visas.
    They were fugitive and taking steps on the footings of their husband.
    There is no any kind of documentary evidence which prove their intention
    consisting on crime,in fact they(widows)are innocent,absolutely innocent.
    and deserve sympathy.


  • Mar 9, 2012 - 6:29PM

    According to my personal approach,
    he was made a mistake by understanding,
    hideout in the muslim state would be safer than any place in the world,
    and shelter therein would be peaceful,
    because he was ill and too older to walk,
    wives were serving all the times,
    they all were not looking bright future,
    fear of death all the time standing in the way,
    in such circumstances who would think for visas ?


  • nirmal maunder
    Mar 9, 2012 - 6:47PM

    Pakistan is making a mockery of itself by trying these ladies & children.How can about 20 members of the family of most wanted criminal of stay for 5 years in heart of army cantonement of pakistan in a large palace like structure which nobody can miss..Also they are trying a doctor for tracing these people.How they can be right on both these trials?In case pakistan did not know about them,doctor deserves award.


  • Mar 9, 2012 - 6:52PM

    Pages of the history reveals some facts,
    Russian Army materialized with sophisticated weapons,
    invaded Afghanistan and occupied the whole territory.

    Countries around Afghanistan,expressed horrible concerned
    on the political and strategic condition.

    Freedom fighter,called Mujahid,came in fought against aggressive,got the country free from satanic domination.

    Remember, United States was behind the Mujahiden.described brave and admirable.

    Time never still,it is always moving forward with revolutionary changes.

    Now, he is too weak to walk,killed drowned,remaining prima facia innocent would stand face a criminal case in Pakistan shouldn’t denied justice.


  • Mar 9, 2012 - 7:02PM

    Widows and children, are innocent
    and deserve sympathy they are liable
    to convict .


  • Mar 9, 2012 - 7:17PM

    Through this comments,
    I would appeal to chief justice of apex court,
    to please take the matter with sympathy.

    Widows of OBL has lost everything,young sons were killed with their husband by aggressive forces,trial against them is not justified to some extent,be released them ,they are immigrants,let them go their homeland.


  • Mar 9, 2012 - 7:38PM

    Interior minister should avoid to release such statements
    it crease hate among the people and target the popularity
    of the Party.


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