Insure your car, home and valuables with iWYZE
PESHAWAR: The militants accused in a Pakistani court of conspiring with a doctor recruited by the CIA to find Osama bin Laden said yesterday they had nothing to do with him and threatened to kill him.
Shakeel Afridi was sentenced to 33 years in jail on May 24 after he was found guilty of treason under Pakistan’s archaic system of tribal justice.
He was arrested after US troops killed Bin Laden in May last year in the town of Abbottabad, where he set up a fake vaccination programme in the hope of obtaining DNA samples to confirm the al-Qaeda leader’s presence.
But he was convicted for treason over alleged ties to Lashkar-e-Islam and not for working for the CIA, for which the court said it did not have jurisdiction.
Lashkar-e-Islam, led by warlord Mangal Bagh, is a militant organisation feared for kidnappings and extortion in the tribal district of Khyber, where Afridi worked for years as a doctor. The court said Afridi had close links to the group, saying the doctor’s “love” for Bagh and “association with him was an open secret”.
But a spokesman and a commander in the organisation both said they had nothing to do with Afridi.
“We have no link to such a shameless man. If we see him, we’ll chew him alive,” the commander said on condition of anonymity.
The spokesman, who gave his name as Ghazi Hussain, branded Afridi a “traitor, an enemy of Pakistan and of the Muslim nation”.
“Whenever and wherever we get an opportunity to kill him, we will. If we can, we will even kill him inside the jail,” Hussain said. – Sapa-AFP