High profile prisoner: Nisar yet to reply to CM’s letter seeking Dr Afridi’s transfer

Citing serious threats of attacks, provincial govt wants the accused shifted out of K-P.

Umer Farooq April 16, 2014
Dr Shakil Afridi. PHOTO: FILE


Despite being a federal convict, Dr Shakil Afridi is yet to be shifted from Central Prison Peshawar and an unofficial letter written by the chief minister (CM) in this regard is yet to solicit a reply from Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

Following serious threats to Afridi’s life at the Peshawar jail and a number of security alerts conveyed by intelligence agencies, more than 13 requests have so far been made to the federal government for Afridi’s transfer.

Officials told The Express Tribune that repeated denials from the centre compelled the provincial chief executive to write an unofficial letter to the interior minister.

“Afridi is a federal convict but is kept at Peshawar jail. We wrote more than a dozen letters asking for his transfer but the federal government is reluctant to touch the case,” said an official, requesting anonymity, adding Nisar was yet to furbish a reply to the CM’s letter.

Revealing enhanced security measures owing to the doctor’s presence, officials said police as well as security forces were on high alert while the road leading to the jail is closed for traffic after 8pm every night. They added that the province’s largest prison was also overburdened as the number of inmates was thrice its total capacity.

On January 9, CM Pervez Khattak was apprised of intelligence agencies’ fresh alerts of a possible attack on the prison. The warnings stated that Afridi was a high value target for militants and serious threats were being received against him.

Afridi is accused of helping the US government track down Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad in May 2011 through a fake vaccination campaign but the same charges were not framed against the accused and instead he was sentenced for 33 years for supporting anti-state elements in Khyber Agency. Later on March 15, commissioner of Frontier Crimes Regulation on the advice of the FATA Tribunal dropped one of the charges against him and also reduced his jail term from 33 to 23 years along with cutting down the fine imposed on him.

Following that, in a detailed verdict, the commissioner directed the Khyber Agency political agent to prepare evidence in collaboration with intelligence agencies and prepare a case against Afridi under federal and provincial laws for being involved in anti-state activities in collusion with foreign intelligence agencies.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2014.


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