The 21st Century Phenomenon








Pakistan said in a statement, on Thursday 10/06/2011, that it was of the view that “a case of conspiracy against the state of Pakistan and high treason” should be registered against Dr. Shakil Afridi (pic) on the basis of the evidence it had gathered. It did not elaborate. Such a charge carries the death penalty.


A Pakistani commission investigating Abbottabad Raid, on 05/02/2011, that killed leader Osama Bin Laden has said a doctor who worked for the CIA should be tried for “high treason”, a move likely to anger US officials pushing for his release and increase the already high tension between Pakistan and USA (see -Fooling U.S). The doctor is accused of running a vaccination programme for the CIA in Abbottabad in an effort to obtain a DNA sample of Bin Laden.


Dr. Shakil Afridi has been in the custody of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence [ISI] agency since May after US Navy Seals killed bin Laden. The ISI was caught off guard by the covert American operation and is aggressively investigating the circumstances surrounding it.


The commission, which interviewed  Dr. Shakil Afridi and the head of the ISI, Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha this week, has been tasked with investigating how Bin Laden managed to hide in the army town of Abbottabad for up to five years, and the circumstances surrounding the US operation.


It is headed by a Supreme Court justice, and its members include a retired general, a former diplomat, a former police chief and a civil servant. It is unclear why the body would make this recommendation public, and whether it will lead to charges being filed against Dr. Shakil Afridi.

The commission was formed amid intense international pressure for answers over how bin Laden was able to live undetected for so long in Abbottabad, an army town close to Islamabad, the capital.


Dr. Shakil Afridi’s fate is a complicating issue in relations between the CIA and the ISI that were strained to the breaking point by the Bin Laden raid.


* US President Barack Obama, on Friday 10/07/2011, voiced concern over Pakistan’s military and intelligence services’ links with extremists, observing that Washington finds this “troubling”. 


Without naming the Haqqani network, with whom the ISI is said to have links, Obama described the extremists as “unsavory characters”, adding, “there is no doubt that there’s some connections the Pakistani military and intelligence services have with certain individuals that we find troubling”.


Obama said Pakistan saw its “security interest threatened by an independent Afghanistan, in part because they think it will ally itself to India, and Pakistan still considers India their mortal enemy.” He said Pakistan should realize that “a peaceful approach towards India would be in everybody’s Interests.”

* In an intervire to CBS, on Saturday 01/28/2012, U.S defence secritary and head of CIA at the time of Abbottabad Raid iin May 2011, Leon Panetta, confirmed that Dr Shakil Afridi had conducted campaign in Abbottabad to trace out Osama Bin Laden on behalf of CIA.

Dr Shakil Afridi was sentenced, on Wednesday 05/23/2012, in the political administration of Khyber Agency, to 33 years in jail after convicted, earlier, for treason.


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