Shakil Afridi’s sentence: Khyber PA does not honour court orders, yet again

Detainee’s counsel says no progress in case in 14 months

Our Correspondent September 09, 2015
File photo of Dr Shakil Afridi. PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR: It appears that the Khyber Agency political administration is adamant on not producing Dr Shakil Afridi’s case record come what may.

Afridi had challenged the Frontier Crimes Regulation commissioner’s decision to reduce his sentence but sustain it at 23 years in the slammer, with the FATA Tribunal.

The doctor was arrested for conducting a fake vaccination campaign to hunt down al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden but convicted for ties with the outlawed Lashkar-e-Islam.

“The three-member tribunal, headed by chairman Sange Marjan, heard the case and directed Khyber PA to produce complete record,” counsel for Afridi, Qamar Nadeem told The Express Tribune. “Over 14 months have passed since the FCR commissioner’s verdict was challenged but little progress has been made.”

The next date of hearing is October 16.

On March 15, 2014, the FCR commissioner had maintained Afridi’s sentence, against charges of espionage for the CIA during the Bin Laden operation, granted by the Bara APA with the deletion of one section of charges – reducing the term to 23 years.

The family knocked the tribunal’s door, stating the commissioner did not follow a previous tribunal directive asking him to write a detailed judgment and remove ambiguities.

On August 29, 2013, the late FCR commissioner Sahibzada Muhammad Anis had overturned the sentence granted by the assistant political agent and directed the Khyber Agency PA to hear the case afresh.

The lawyers appealed against the decision and filed a review petition on which the FATA Tribunal remanded the case back to the FCR commissioner on December 18, 2013, with directives to clear ambiguities.

The tribunal found that the previous order of the FCR commissioner was ambiguous and self-contradictory and ordered that “the case should go back to the FCR commissioner Peshawar with the direction to write a detailed, speaking and well reasoned order as required by Section 53 of the FCR.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 10th,  2015.


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