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Communications / RFE/RL In The News

Daud Khattak On Pakistani Justice For "The AfPak Channel"

USA-- Foreign Policy magazine logoUSA-- Foreign Policy magazine logo
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USA-- Foreign Policy magazine logo
USA-- Foreign Policy magazine logo
In "Foreign Policy's" The AfPak Channel, Daud Khattak, Senior Editor for Radio Mashaal, examines the curious case of Shakeel Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who allegedly helped the CIA track down Osama Bin Laden.

"A Tale Of Two Verdicts" compares two verdicts handed down to Afridi -- one by the warlord Mangal Bagh in 2008 for not providing medical assistance to his men, and the second by the Pakistani state in 2012 for "providing medical and financial assistance" to militants. Khattak asserts that these cases "are enough for the international community to understand the dilemma of tribesmen sandwiched between the state security agencies and the militants."

Read an excerpt of the article below and the original here.

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A tale of two verdicts
By Daud Khan Khattak - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - 12:05 PM

Shakeel Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who allegedly helped the CIA track down the world's most wanted man in Abbottabad on May 2, 2011, is undergoing a 33-year jail term on charges of lending financial and physical support to a banned militant outfit in Khyber, one of the seven tribal districts partly overrun by the Taliban and their supporters. Afridi's punishment -- which many see as merely retribution by the Pakistani government (as opposed to a normal court proceeding) for his cooperation with the United States' intelligence community -- came exactly a year after he was subjected to secret Pakistani interrogations and under the legal auspices of the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR).

The colonial-era law has been under serious criticism from civil society representatives in Pakistan and human rights organization both inside the country and abroad because a number of its clauses are in violation of basic human rights. Although the elected Pakistani government has boasted of introducing reforms in the tribal areas and amending the FCR, Afridi's "trial" has exposed the grim reality of a judicial system where an individual can be sentenced while denied the proper recourse to defense. However, the illegitimacy of these charges against Afridi only masks a far more complex state of affairs.

Before being whisked away by Pakistani intelligence agents on May 23, 2011 in the outskirts of the tribal Khyber Agency and his subsequent court appearance a year later, Afridi had already once experienced something similar when he was brought blindfolded to the warlord Mangal Bagh of Lashkar-e-Islam.

It must have been déjà vu.

[The full article continues at Foreign Policy]

Tags: Pakistan,Foreign Policy,Daud Khattak

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