Tue, May 03, 2016 - Page 7 News List

Pakistani languishes in prison for helping CIA

BIN LADEN PLOT:Shakeel Afridi was sentenced to 23 years in prison, allegedly for having ties to militants, but really for helping the US locate al-Qaeda’s leader

AFP, PESHAWAR, Pakistan

PESSIMISM

Though Jamil and Afridi’s other siblings won a Peshawar High Court decision granting them visiting rights, that verdict has not been implemented, and Jamil has been told by his lawyer that pursuing the matter could result in harm to the doctor.

“They are not admitting the High Court decision. What can I say? I am pessimistic,” he said.

Rashid says justice for Afridi has gone by the wayside for the US, which would rather Pakistan use its influence with the Afghan Taliban to encourage them to restart peace talks with Kabul.

“The Americans have ceased to criticize Pakistan on many fronts,” he said.

However, Michael Kugelman, an analyst at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington said all hope is not lost for Afridi.

He said, rather than having abandoned him, the Americans may have decided that shouting about it is not going to work.

“In Washington the issue has likely moved off the front burner because it’s clear that Pakistan isn’t willing to play ball and negotiate an arrangement that could set him free,” he said.

“[But] the Afridi issue has never really gone away, and my sense is that US officials quietly press Pakistan about it from time to time,” Kugelman said.

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