Intelligence report: Dr Afridi at grave risk in Peshawar prison

Published: May 26, 2012
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Human Rights Commission of Pakistan expresses concern over denial of due process rights to Dr Shakil Afridi. PHOTO: FILE

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan expresses concern over denial of due process rights to Dr Shakil Afridi. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

Keeping Dr Shakil Afridi in Peshawar’s central prison is akin to keeping him in plain sight of the Taliban who are purportedly baying for his blood, say intelligence officials.

Afridi, who helped the American CIA hunt down al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, faces a grave threat to his life while he is imprisoned in the Peshawar Central Jail, according to an intelligence report submitted to authorities in Islamabad. The doctor was sentenced to 33 years in prison by an assistant political agent on Wednesday.

The location and accessibility of the prison make it an easy target for the Taliban, say officials who have compiled the report which also refers to the recent jailbreak in Bannu.

Flanked on one side by the Grand Trunk Road, and the other three sides by the congested area of Saddar, the central jail can easily be targeted by militants, especially those from the adjoining Khyber Agency, the report says.

According to intelligence sources, the Taliban are considering two options at the moment. They will attack the prison, take Dr Afridi with them and have their leadership decide his fate, or have an inmate from the jail kill the doctor.

“Yes, the Peshawar prison might be attacked,” said a prison official, citing the attacks on Bannu jail and the CID police station, situated in Peshawar’s red zone.

Officials recommend that Dr Afridi is shifted to Islamabad for now before a future plan is chalked out. Much would depend on his future course of action if he decides to appeal the political administration’s verdict.

The report says that intelligence authorities met Dr Afridi along with a panel of doctors when he was shifted to the prison. His mental and physical condition is good and a medical team of Peshawar prison has been directed to monitor his health, the report adds.

Minister for Prisons Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Mian Nisar Gul Kakakhel, and Inspector General Prisons Khalid Abbas did not comment when asked about arrangements made for Dr Afridi, given the threats from the Taliban.

The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), on the other hand, said that they would kill Dr Afridi to “avenge Sheikh Osama’s killing”.

“We consider Dr Shakil Afridi our avowed enemy. Our fighters will kill him wherever they find him,” TTP’s Deputy chief Waliur Rehman told The Express Tribune by phone from an undisclosed location in tribal regions.

“He has done everything for money,” Rehman said referring to Dr Afridi’s role in helping the CIA track down Bin Laden in his Abbottabad compound through a phony vaccination drive. “We will get him (Dr Afridi) as soon as possible to avenge the killing of Sheikh Osama,” the TTP deputy chief added.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 26th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Ch Allah Daad
    May 26, 2012 - 5:29AM

    Its possible that Taliban take him away from prison with the connivance of Pakistani authorities and sell him to Americans who have already set aside money held back from Pakistan’s aid fund.

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  • Ali
    May 26, 2012 - 6:10AM

    Killing Dr. Afridi this way would give Pakistan’s security establishment ‘some’ face to mend future ties with US. This ‘exemplary’ punishment would also make sure that no one from Pakistan would ever dare to do the same thing again.

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  • Basit
    May 26, 2012 - 6:39AM

    Drama started to shift him to America. TTP following CIA directives to form pressure group.

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  • F Robinson
    May 26, 2012 - 7:06AM

    Free Dr Shakil Afridi .

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  • jibran
    May 26, 2012 - 8:45AM

    The establishment just wants to eliminate the one who helped the elimination of it’s strategic asset. Now they are looking for an excuse.

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  • Baber
    May 26, 2012 - 9:17AM

    Afgan Taliban might not chase as they have nothing to do with this case..but surely the US backed Tehreek-e-Taliban(TTP) can get him out of prision….

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  • with love from India
    May 26, 2012 - 9:20AM

    @Ali: you have an IQ of 0. What will follow after this ‘exemplary’ punishment, only god will know. Pakistan is already isolated from world, your economy is in tatter, poverty is on rise, sectarian violence is on rise! I think your plate is already full to bring any more trouble.

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  • Mirza
    May 26, 2012 - 9:30AM

    This is exactly the same way they killed BB and Taseer. Nobody would be held responsible. Even if the murder brags about his “achievement” and held by police he would be treated like a VIP (Qadri) and would not be put to death.

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  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    May 26, 2012 - 9:46AM

    I think Dr. Shakil Afridi knew more than what he knew about OBL. I hope he is not killed in the name of Mercy Killing by those for whom he has become security risk. He has the right for a fair trial not under FATA laws but those courts which directly come under the Supreme Court Of Pakistan. Let us show some fairness because rest of the world thinks other-way around.

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  • kaalchakra
    May 26, 2012 - 8:26PM

    Mr./Ms Full of Love

    Please keep your love to yourselves. I hope that is ok.

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  • R. Rahim
    May 27, 2012 - 5:54AM

    The doctor is the one who risked his life, put himself and his family in danger, and got the most wanted man. The U.S got Bin Laden, because of the information he had provided to them. They should have made sure he does not suffer and remains safe and sound which they did not. He deserves all the money and protection for himself and his family. He is not a traitor and does not deserve a 33-year punishment for providing information; on the most wanted man in the world. Free Him.

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  • antanu
    May 27, 2012 - 8:20PM

    <p>@R. Rahim:
    You are talking US dear.US doesnot give a damn for any one once it gets what it wants.If still you keep loving the US its your decision</p>Recommend

  • khurram khan
    May 28, 2012 - 1:37AM

    Hand him over to Islamic Emirate of Waziristan :)

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