After a ban of over two months, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government has finally allowed the family of jailed surgeon Dr Shakil Afridi to meet him – but only once a month.
Instantly following the decision, Dr Shakil Afridi’s brother Jamil met him at the office of the superintendent at the Central Prison Peshawar for the second time since being sentenced to 33 years of imprisonment by a tribal court on May 23 for maintaining links with banded outfit Lashkar-e-Islam.
Jamil, during the meeting, was also accompanied by his cousin Advocate Qamar Ali and Dr Afridi’s counsel Samiullah Afridi.
When contacted, Samiullah confirmed to The Express Tribune their meeting with Dr Afridi and said they were able to talk to him in an open environment. He revealed that Dr Afridi has categorically denied being a part of the CIA’s plan to hunt down the slain al Qaeda chief.
“I, not once, but a number of times asked him about his stance over the allegations that he had helped the CIA but Dr Afridi continuously denied the charges,” Samiullah claimed.
According to Samiullah, Dr Afridi only confessed to vaccinating people in Abbottabad but stressed that he only did so upon the instructions from officials in his department. “He said he did vaccinate people but he was not part of the game,” Samiullah said.
Dr Afridi’s counsel further revealed that his client has also denied any links with Lashkar-e-Islam.
“There was a military operation under way in Khyber Agency in 2009. Security forces had been staying at the Dogra Hospital.
How could militants be treated at the hospital when forces were stationed there?” Samiullah asked rhetorically, adding that his client’s health condition did not seem good.
Samiullah said Dr Afridi is unaware of what people have been thinking about him outside prison.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2012.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ