Found guilty: Prison guard sacked over Dr Afridi’s Fox News interview

Published: December 14, 2012
“Though the guard has confessed to assisting Dr Afridi, we are still investigating as to how the cellphone was carried into the cell,” Senior official of Peshawar’s Central Prison.

“Though the guard has confessed to assisting Dr Afridi, we are still investigating as to how the cellphone was carried into the cell,” Senior official of Peshawar’s Central Prison.

PESHAWAR: A prison guard has been sacked for facilitating a telephone interview of jailed Pakistani doctor Shakeel Afridi, who had conducted a phony vaccination drive to help the CIA track down al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in his Abbottabad mansion.

The guard confessed before an inquiry panel that he had allowed Dr Afridi to make calls from his cellphone, a senior official of Peshawar’s Central Prison told The Express Tribune. However, the guard said he thought Dr Afridi was making the calls to his family.

In the interview to American news channel Fox News on September 10, Dr Afridi had claimed that after the Abbottabad raid he had been kidnapped and tortured by Pakistani intelligence. He had also alleged that the ISI regarded the US as its worst enemy.

The inquiry panel is also questioning a police constable for his possible role in facilitating the interview, the prison official said. “Though the guard has confessed to assisting Dr Afridi, we are still investigating as to how the cellphone was carried into the cell,” he said of the sacked guard.

The official said that after the interview a search operation was launched in Dr Afridi’s cell. He categorically rejected media reports that a satellite phone was recovered from the cell.

“Every corner of the cell was checked – and nothing was found. Still we monitored the two guards and arrested them subsequently on suspicion,” the official added.

Meanwhile, Dr Afridi’s family has petitioned the commissioner of the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) to allow them to meet the jailed doctor in his prison cell, his cousin Qamar Nadeem Afridi confirmed to The Express Tribune. After the Fox News interview, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government had barred Dr Afridi from meeting his relatives and lawyers.

On the other hand, Dr Afridi’s case was adjourned till January 17 due to a strike called by the Pakistan Bar Council against the judicial policy. It is the 7th time since June this year that the case has been adjourned.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • sabi
    Dec 14, 2012 - 12:46AM

    Husain Haqni refusal to return back in Pakistan carries lot of weight.Killing hundreds of innocent Pakistani people by baned orgnisations is no crime in Pakistan but exposing terrorist is a big crime and deserve zero tollerance.Ironey..


  • cautious
    Dec 14, 2012 - 2:16AM

    I wonder whether any other guard in Pakistan has been fired over allowing a prisoner access to a cell phone? Seem to recall articles where jailed terrorist maintain regular contact with their associates in the outside via their own cell phones and no one seems to care about that. No doubt that Pakistani’s who blasted Fox News when they went public with the interview will overlook the police officers confession that the interview was legit – they never let facts get in the way of a good anti American rant.


  • Noman Ansari
    Dec 14, 2012 - 4:12AM

    The official said that after the
    interview a search operation

    Is it really a ‘search operation’ when you are looking inside a man’s small prison cell?


  • Asad
    Dec 14, 2012 - 4:28AM

    Another sell out Pakistani.


  • numbersnumbers
    Dec 14, 2012 - 5:10AM

    WOW, I need to ask what interview they are talking about, since all concerned claimed back then that there was NO FOX NEWS INTERVIEW, it was all a fabricated story!!!


  • Sexton Blake
    Dec 14, 2012 - 4:55PM

    These things happen when you cross the big guys. For example, the US is notorious in ensuring whistle blowers are severely punished. The media rarely make them public, and/or people just mysteriously disappear. One of the outstanding cases of late has been Bradley Manning of Wikileaks fame. Bradley, a 24 year old has been incarcerated and tortured for nearly 3 years now, just because he told the truth. He eventually pleaded guilty under a plea bargain arrangement, not because he was guilty. He also wished to avoid continued mis-treatment. Of course I could list many US travesties of justice, including Dr. Aafri Siddiqui, who was found guilty on trumped up charges, but if I did the Express Tribune would be filled up.


  • Enlightened
    Dec 14, 2012 - 9:14PM

    None of personnel from intelligence agencies from top to bottom were found guilty when OBL was found hiding along with his family in an army cantonment for five long years. In fact a clean chit was given to all personnel immediately by none other than the former Pak PM Gilani who stated that there was no intelligence failure in Pakistan but blamed world intelligence failure for this grave lapse and military too came for defence of its agencies. In such a high profile case in any other democratic set up, govt and military both would have ordered a high level investigations and refrained from making any statement in defence of its agencies before its findings were handed over to them. Over and above, Afridi who found OBL instead of being rewarded by the state was handed over long term prison sentence, confirming complicity of the state of sheltering the world’s most notorious terrorist as well biting the dust.


  • Mirza
    Dec 15, 2012 - 2:15AM

    Fox interview was branded as a false and fabricated story to malign Pakistan. It was false just like the discovery of OBL in an army base and killing by the US.


  • Sexton Blake
    Dec 15, 2012 - 2:58PM

    Dear Enlightened,
    I like your term “clean chit. I was trying to think of a couple of words that would describe US procedures when they have carried out some unsavoury activity, which is the norm for them, and “clean chit” fits the bill exactly.. I could list many of those activities, but Express Tribune would not have the room. However, a small example is Iraq and weapons of mass destruction. America viciously attacked Iraq, and killed about a million innocent people some 11 years ago. It is my understanding they are still looking for weapons of mass destruction. To give the Americans credit, they have gone very quiet about the whole affair, but people like you give the US a “clean chit”, and then go out of their way to castigate Pakistan when very little evidence is available for a relatively unimportant matter in comparison. In regard to Osama bin Laden, your so called “world’s most notorious terrorist”, who pales into insignificance when compared to President Bush, I am still waiting, I might even say with bated breath, for the US to produce solid, believable evidence that they assassinated OBL at Abbattobad. In regard to the guard and Dr. Afridi, I consider that they have got out of it lightly, compared to what the Americans would have done in a reverse situation. The US will have to become involved in some intensive diplomacy, not their strong point, if they wish to have Dr. Afridi released. I think we can forget the guard.


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