Shakil Afridi, the doctor who helped the US investigating agency CIA to track down Al qaeda head Osama bin laden in Pakistan with his fake vaccination campaign.
He has been moved out of a prison in Peshawar to an undisclosed safe location in another city. He had been in Prison for almost seven years after he helped CIA in locating Osama bin laden which was later on killed by the US navy seals on 2 May 2011.
According to his lawyer Qamar Nadim, Afridi, a former senior surgeon who is believed to be in mid 50s had been living in solitary confinement in a small room in Peshawar’s central Jail. An official of the Peshawar prison said that large number of police as well as army contingent reached the prison on Friday and took Afridi away, amid tight security. The entire road was blocked for a good one hour but no one has idea where he was taken.
As hardcore TTP militants had also been kept in the prison and his life was in danger, provincial government had been demanding of the federal government to move Afridi away from the Peshawar prison which was accepted now and he got shifted.
Dr Afridi’s continued imprisonment has long been source of tension between Pakistan and the USA. Some US law said that his imprisonment was revenge for his help in the search of most wanted terrorist, Osama bin laden as it is reflective of Islamabad’s unwillingness to fight against terrorism. Pakistan for its part claim that the raid- carried out without forewarning was violation of sovereign territory. He also faced a murder trial related to the death of a patient more than a decade ago.
In 2016, a US threat to cut aid to Pakistan saw a tribunal slice 10 years off his sentence but since then US pressure for his release has been tapered off. Trump vowed during his election campaign that he would order Pakistan to free Afridi.
“I am sure that they would let him out because we give a lot of aid”, Trump told Fox news at that time, adding that Pakistan “takes advantage like everybody else”. On which Pakistan government said that “Pakistan and not Donald Trump” would decide Afridi’s fate.