Shakeel Afridi getting fair trial, Senate informed

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Senate was informed on Tuesday that a US spy agency aide Shakeel Afridi was getting fair trial for the crime he had committed against national interest of Pakistan.

Responding to a calling attention notice, Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid informed the Upper House on behalf of the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz that Shakeel Afridi was arrested on charges of anti-state activities in May 2012 and was awarded 33 years imprisonment by a local jirga.

The minister said Afridi filed an appeal with Court of Commissioner in FATA who had recommended to reduce his sentence to 22 years imprisonment.

This decision as appealed against at the FCR Tribunal that subsequently sent the matter to Court of Commissioner where the matter is still pending.

Zahid Hamid said Shakeel Afridi had violated the local law by spying for foreign intelligence agency in the name of polio vaccination campaign thus severely harming this campaign especially in tribal areas.

Due to this act of Shakeel Afridi, he said, the polio workers in the region were seen as spies of foreign agencies and around 50 people lost their lives on this suspicion.

The minister explained that in case of Shakeel Afridi there is difference of perception between Pakistan and United States as people here think him a traitor who worked against the national interests.

“Our view point in this case is very clear that law is taking its course and Afridi is having full opportunity of a fair trial,” he added.

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Earlier moving the calling attention notice to the House, Senator Hafiz Hamadullah had mentioned to reports that Shakeel Afridi was being released and handed over to United States.

Senator Hafiz Hamadullah said Afridi worked against the law and our national interest and the Pakistan government had repeatedly been telling the United States that under our law he had committed a crime and is facing the law.

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