Dr Afridi’s brother urges chief justice to intervene

Published: May 28, 2012
Jamil Afridi (L), the elder brother of jailed Pakistani surgeon Shakeel Afridi who was recruited by the CIA to help find Osama bin Laden, addresses journalists during a news conference in Peshawar on May 28, 2012. PHOTO: AFP

Jamil Afridi (L), the elder brother of jailed Pakistani surgeon Shakeel Afridi who was recruited by the CIA to help find Osama bin Laden, addresses journalists during a news conference in Peshawar on May 28, 2012. PHOTO: AFP

PESHAWAR: The brother of Dr Shakil Afridi, jailed in Pakistan for helping the CIA hunt for Osama bin Laden, called on Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Monday to intervene directly to allow a swift appeal.

Dr Afridi was found guilty of treason in a secretive tribal court last week and sentenced to 33 years in jail, but his family says the appeal process is being held up because the authorities have yet to release a copy of the conviction.

“I appeal on the chief justice to provide us security and help us exercise our right of appeal,” Jamil Afridi, Dr Afridi’s elder brother, told a news conference in Peshawar.

The 50-year-old teacher told AFP that Dr Afridi, who stood trial in Khyber tribal district and is in jail in Peshawar, was innocent, loyal and not a traitor.

“My brother is not a traitor, he is a patriot. The sentence is one sided. We will file an appeal against this illegal verdict.”

He accused the tribal administration of not releasing the court order.

“They are neither giving us the copy of the order needed to file an appeal, nor have they allowed us to meet Afridi in jail,” he said.

The former government surgeon ran a fake vaccination programme designed to collect bin Laden family DNA from the compound in the town of Abbottabad, where the al Qaeda leader was shot dead in a US raid in May 2011.

After his sentencing, a furious Senate Appropriations Committee voted to cut US aid to Pakistan by a symbolic $33 million – $1 million for each year of jail time.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the sentence was “unjust and unwarranted”, saying Dr Afridi was “instrumental in taking down one of the world’s most-wanted murderers”.

On Thursday, jail officials told AFP that Dr Afridi was weak, depressed and suffering from a bad stomach. He had been examined twice by doctors and prescribed medicine, they said.

But local government spokesman insisted Monday that the prisoner’s health was “alright”.

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Reader Comments (29)

  • Nas
    May 28, 2012 - 5:20PM

    Dr Afridi is a hero


  • sick of this nonsense
    May 28, 2012 - 5:22PM

    Dear sir,

    Its a lost cause. Here we think OBL was a hero and a savior. How can you expect justice if 90% of the people are ignorant and totally against you.


    Sick of this nonsense.


  • Freeman
    May 28, 2012 - 5:22PM

    Dr Afridi did this for the money and made huge amount of dollars.


  • Fedup Khan
    May 28, 2012 - 5:25PM

    Did he take permission from Chief Justice when he was working for CIA without the knowledge of Pakistan Government?


  • messed
    May 28, 2012 - 5:32PM

    he has out the vaccination program indanger, Dr Afridi should be dealt for malpractice also.


  • Gilgiti-No voting right but Proud Pakistani
    May 28, 2012 - 5:37PM

    CJ intervene for what? to give an other chance to an other traitor to give the impression that all Pakistani are for sold? he did this for money and not informed his country authorities either. Can some one else in the world can do that?. Recommend

  • Aryabhat
    May 28, 2012 - 5:42PM

    If SC is not able (or willing) to change – NO real Punishment to Gov. Taseer’s murderer, NO trace of missing Balochs, NO Punshment to Ghazi brothers of Red Mosque, etc. – How do you think it is going to react on this?

    Come on! Grow up! Face it – SC is as much part of the “Deep state” …!


  • naeem khan Manhattan, Ks
    May 28, 2012 - 6:20PM

    He should be given due process of law otherwise it seems the establishment rail roaded him to be sentenced for 33 years. There is no doubt that Pakistan people with political and economic power could get away with all sorts of crime, just look at this current government in Pakistan.As far as Americans are concerned, they should shut up because it is them who spilled the beans and his name to the whole world and above all they could have retrieved him and his family to safe place.They have no room to say anything, they are to be blamed to entice him in the first place and then abandoned him.Any Pakistani out there wants to cooperate with the Amercans?Recommend

  • truth
    May 28, 2012 - 6:36PM

    He fooled the whole pakistani nation in amusing some USA Poltician and CIA.

    I dont know what was the motivation behind his act. But for us he decieved the 18 croroe people of pakistan.

    Infact all those pakistanis involved should be behind the bars.


    May 28, 2012 - 6:38PM

    I believe the means cannot justify the end. Even Americans jailed a citizen spying for Israel.
    However keeping in view the extraordinary circumstances of the case and total failure of
    Pak intelligence (to do what he did), he deserves a much lighter sentence. After all his so called
    treason has proved to be a great blessing in disguise for world in general and Pakistan in particular.
    GOD knows what would have happened to Pakistan, if OBL had succeeded in orchestrating another attack on USA while sitting on Pakistani soil.


  • Feroze
    May 28, 2012 - 7:21PM

    What is wrong with us as a society? This guy helped in finding OBL, the most wanted man in the world, including Pakistan. OBL is responsible for the deaths of 1000’s of pakistanis and in my book the Dr who helped find this pathetic person who has shamed islam Is in my eyes a hero. If I was him I too would not have informed my government who are incompetent if not complicit in OBL living in abottabad for 5 years.

    The Americans should have flown him and his family out of the country the night the raid was sanctioned. His sentence by a tribal court speaks volumes of how backward we still are.


  • Ali
    May 28, 2012 - 7:53PM

    He is guilty of treason. There is no questions about that.


  • Khan
    May 28, 2012 - 8:00PM

    Yes but that spy you’re referring to was harming his country by selling its secrets. Was Mr Afridi selling secrets to harm this country? Definitely not .. whoever is against Mr Afridi and is saying that he should have contacted Pakistani authorities if he had any knowledge about BL, We all know that whenever our security agencies are involved in wrong doing .. our so called leaders from PM to President and from President to COAS have said that there are rogue elements in our security services .. In that case any sane person no matter how patriotic, will have two choices .. either keep quiet and let that person keep living in his mansion, who has caused to killed over 30,000 Pakistani civilians due to his acts and misguided ideology or contact some one reliable to stop him from harming or killing his own people.
    Although that argument can be presented only if proven that he indeed help the CIA and knew about what he was doing which is highly doubtful as most probably he didn’t even know he was being used in the process. Unfortunately, majority of people in our society do not have enough knowledge or clear judgement but they just need some one as a scapegoat and Mr Afridi is our scapegoat at the moment. No one bothered to ask how was that man living just beside PMA for that long.


  • Haq Nawaz
    May 28, 2012 - 8:13PM

    Neither this news report nor the commentators have mentioned that Dr. Afridi’s fake vaccination program did not produce a shred of evidence to track OBL. CIA tasked him to collect blood samples of people inside OBL compound so that DNA tests could prove presence of their target. But Dr. Afridi failed to get access to anyone inside OBL compound. US authorties have confirmed as much publically. The real damage of Dr. Afridi’s fake vaccination program is two fold (1) children in the neighborhood were only given first of three doses of Hapititis B and this could be counter-productive, and (2) many people who are already suspicious of government’s vaccination program will now be further turned off. In a separate trial, he should be charged for endangering public health. He is certainly guilty of treason as charged and sentenced. He let down his community, violated his professional oath, and spied against his own country only for money. He is a criminal no matter how you look at it. But he should be given due judicial process to appeal his sentence.


  • Aarvey,india
    May 28, 2012 - 8:24PM

    Mr. Jamil Afridi . We are with you wholeheartedly and believe that your brother is a hero. May God be with you always and your brother in your quest or justice and freedom for Dr Shakil.


  • ASQ
    May 28, 2012 - 9:55PM

    doctor afridi is a traitor not because he caught OBL but because he has endangered the lives of millions of children in KPK and Fata by running fake campaign just for the sake of few thousand dollars!!!


  • Ch Allah Daad
    May 28, 2012 - 11:02PM

    @ Haq Nawaz, I agree with your point of view except that he is guilty of spying and thus a traitor. Suppose a person who committed a crime in United States and Americans are after him. If I notice him in my community and call American Embassy and tells them the location of criminal. Is it spying and treason? There are many Pakistanis living abroad commit fraud and other crimes and hide in Pakistan to escape justice. If any of their friend or relative writes or calls concerned country’s embassy to expose them, should it be cosidered spying and treason?


  • Zaid Baloch
    May 28, 2012 - 11:06PM

    Dr. Shakeel Afridi is not only guilty of treason, he is also guilty of endangering the health and lives of hundreds of innocent children from his own province by administering fake polio drops. The parents of those children administered with fake polio drops thinking that their children have been immunized against polio whereas due to the fraud committed by Dr. Shakeel Afridi, all these hundreds of children are in danger of getting polio and permanent disability. He deserves each minute of the 33 years he got as sentence!


  • Anon
    May 29, 2012 - 12:03AM

    Wow ET I dont remember you running such constant sympathetic coverage of Afia Siddiqui when she her trial was going on. If anything you pretty much wrote her off as a terrorist even before the verdict was out. But then again I am not surprised by this newspapers priorities and allegiances.


  • Feroze
    May 29, 2012 - 12:39AM

    @haq Nawaz if we as a nation had been sincere in fighting militancy which has harmed us more then any other country we would not be in the situation we are and the need to deceive our own would not arise. Do you think it’s possible that the so called meds the good Dr was administering were placebos and caused no ill effects on the population?


  • Mirza
    May 29, 2012 - 12:58AM

    Sir, Americans jailed Israeli for spying against the US by stealing their military secrets and hurting their national interest. The question is did Afridi steal Pakistani military secrets and hurt Pakistan? Or he has helped the world get rid of the worst terrorist in the history? Was keeping and protecting OBL a Pakistani interest that our ally the US should not have eliminated?


  • Sandip
    May 29, 2012 - 2:22AM

    If Pervez Musharraf was not a traitor after heading a coup, if Nadeem Taj was not a traitor after facilitating OBL, if Kayani was not a traitor, again after facilitating OBL, then how could Dr. Afridi be a traitor after helping to get rid of the man who brought nothing but death and destruction to Pakistan.


  • Anas
    May 29, 2012 - 3:04AM

    He is guilty of treason and should be punished accordingly. Forget the US, they have double standards in everything as even they jailed Jonathan Pollard for spying for israel.


  • Arindom
    May 29, 2012 - 4:35AM

    @Gilgiti-No voting right but Proud Pakistani:

    If Afridi is a traitor, then Osama is a Hero?


  • Dr.A,K.Tewari
    May 29, 2012 - 6:32AM


    SC has to intervene otherewise it be itself on trial and the Brain-bank of America will fuel the fight .

    FEROZ stated above , is a realization , deserves to be percolated and Afridi issue will catalyse it .


  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    May 29, 2012 - 8:49AM


    SC has to intervene otherewise it be itself on trial and the Brain-bank of the world will fuel the fight .

    FEROZ stated above , is a realization , deserves to be percolated up to the grass root level and Afridi issue will catalyse it .


  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    May 29, 2012 - 8:50AM

    Dr. Shakil Afridi needs fair trial. His brother should file a petition in Peshawar High Court or straightaway in SC. There are many in our system and many in the out of system who harmed the very foundation of our country and many are still moving around safe and sound. I think we must and should first establish and then punish those who failed to locate OBL who was hiding under their noses. We as a nation should be open minded. Again the whole world is rejoicing and we are weeping on the issue of OBL.


  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    May 29, 2012 - 9:10AM

    “My brother is not a traitor,
    he is a patriot. The sentence
    is one sided. We will file an
    appeal against this illegal

    Jamil tum sanghrash karo hum tumhare saath hai

    I tell you no one can touch your beloved brother . Each true Hindu and Muslim of the subcontinant is with you . We togather will wipe out mullah mentality for ever.


  • Adnan Khan
    May 29, 2012 - 9:22AM

    He must be hanged as what a traitor deserves!


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