PESHAWER, April 28 (TNS): In a major overnight development here ever vigilant intelligence agencies have foiled a seemingly international bid to let Dr. Shakeel Afridi flee from the jail.
Dr Shakil Afridi was arrested in 2011 from near the boundary between Peshawar and Khyber Agency. His arrest came after the May 2, 2011 raid by US commandos on a compound in Abbottabad where Osama bin Laden was shot dead.
Dr. Shakil Afridi allegedly carried out a fake immunisation campaign in Abbottabad to help the CIA track down bin Laden.
However, no charges for spying for the CIA were made against him. Instead, he was tried and convicted for having links with militants belonging to the Mangal Bagh-led Lashkar-e-Islam in Khyber Agency where he was serving as the agency surgeon. He was convicted by the court of the assistant political agent, Bara and jailed for 33 years in May 2012. The tribunal had imposed Rs320,000 fine on him.
However, in March 2014, the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) Commissioner reduced the sentence of Dr. Shakil Afridi from 33 to 23 years and the amount of fine previously imposed on him from Rs320,000 to Rs220,000.
According to the sources close to the TNS said that Dr. Afridi was shifted by the personnel of security agencies amid tight security at around 4 am from the Central Prison Peshawar to an unknown location.
“He was first moved out of the prison in a high-security vehicle and then shifted to another place in a helicopter.” Said the sources
It is being said that the action has taken place to thwart a seemingly international conspiracy to let the high profile prisoner flee from the jail.
It is pertinent to mention here that the successive US administrations have always been putting pressure on Pakistan to let Dr. Afridi free, be handed over to the US and given the honor for being instrumental in neutralizing “world’s topmost terrorist” instead of being made to languish in jail.
Smelling the same and long hatched conspiracy, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government too had been repeatedly asking the federal Ministry of Interior since 2012 to shift Dr Shakil Afridi to Punjab province due to security reasons.