Arresting and jailing Dr. Shakil Afridi who helped the CIA track Osama bin Laden in 2011 has proved costly for Pakistan.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson in a statement on Monday expressed disappointment that the Consolidated Appropriations Bill 2014, approved by the U.S. Congress which was signed into law by the President on January, 17, 2014 proposes to withhold $33 million from assistance on account of Dr. Afridi’s detention.
The statement said that Dr. Afridi, a citizen of Pakistan, is accused of having violated the country’s laws. Consequently, any linkage of U.S. assistance to this case is not in keeping with the spirit of cooperation between the two countries, it said.
Dr. Afridi was sentenced to 33 years in jail after being charged under the Frontier Crimes Regulation(FCR), 1901, for having links with a banned terror outfit Lashkar-i-Islam last May. In December 2013, a tribunal of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in Peshawar disposed of a review petition filed by Dr Afridi seeking a trial by a sessions judge.
The three- member tribunal which reviewed the case asked the FCR commissioner to clarify his predecessor’s order. The tribunal held that the Commissioner in his order in August overturning the sentence was ambiguous about who should conduct a fresh trial in the case and sought clarity on whether it should be by a political agent or a sessions judge.