PESHAWAR: In an expected move, legal experts from tribal and settled regions, along with human rights activists stepped in to challenge the verdict of the Khyber Agency political administration, convicting Dr Shakil Afridi for treasonous activities and sentencing him to a 33-year imprisonment.
Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) lawyers, accompanied by members of the Aman Tehreek (peace movement), submitted an application at the central prison in Peshawar seeking Dr Shakil Afridi’s approval for the power of attorney.
Aman Tehreek chief Idrees Kamal told The Express Tribune that the application had been submitted and the verdict by the political administration would be challenged in the office of the commissioner Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) as soon as they receive the signed power of attorney.
“Thousands of innocent Pashtoons have been killed,” said Idrees. “The world has been trying to reduce, in fact, eliminate terrorism and Shakil has helped the world.”
He said that a copy of the political administration’s order, inscribed with Dr Shakil’s sentence, had also been requested.
Qamar Nadeem Afridi, a member of the Fata Lawyers’ Forum (FLF) and a relative of Dr Shakil, when contacted was also of the same view. He said that Dr Shakil had done something which the government and the whole world had been doing since a long time.
“Section 121 (waging war against the state) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), under which Dr Shakil has been sentenced is completely wrong,” said Qamar.
“Shakil has not waged war against the country nor he has been involved in conspiring against it.”
FLF president Ejaz Mohmand said they were not favoring Dr Shakil, but were stressing upon following proper procedures.
“I don’t say Shakil has done something extraordinary and should be rewarded for it, but it is his right to appeal against the verdict. Thus we are preparing to submit our appeal before the commissioner FCR.”