Pak: Afridi to be shifted from Peshawar to Punjab

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 13:07

Zeenews Bureau

Peshawar: Amidst security threats, Dr Shakil Afridi will be shifted from Central Jail Peshawar to Punjab, a report said on Tuesday.

According to Dawn.com, the plan for shifting Dr Afridi was finalised at a special meeting held in Peshawar on Monday.

Dr Shakil Afridi has been convicted for 33 years in a treason case, which led to the killing of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

All the law enforcement agencies have been put on high alert to avert any untoward incident, said the report.

Reports added that the Interior Ministry would provide a special helicopter for shifting Afridi to a jail or fort in Punjab.

Fool-proof security arrangements have also been ordered for the shifting plan, which can happen any time, but no specific time frame has so far been finalised for security reasons.

Dr Afridi is currently being kept in a special cell by the Peshawar Central Prison authorities.

The prison authorities fear hardcore militants languishing in the prison could attack Afridi; hence the security has been tightened for the doctor.

Intelligence officials have said keeping Shakil Afridi in Peshawar`s central prison is no less than keeping him in plain sight of the Taliban who are purportedly baying for his blood.

According to an intelligence report submitted to authorities in Islamabad, Afridi faces a grave threat to his life while he is imprisoned in the Peshawar central jail, reports The Express Tribune.

The location and accessibility of the prison makes it an easy target for the Taliban. Flanked on one side by the Grand Trunk Road, and the other three sides by the congested area of Saddar, the jail can easily be targeted by militants, especially those from the adjoining Khyber Agency, the report says.

According to intelligence sources, the Taliban are considering two options at the moment - to attack the prison, take Dr Afridi with them and have their leadership decide his fate, or have an inmate from the jail kill the doctor.

"Yes, the Peshawar prison might be attacked," said a prison official.

The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), on the other hand, said they would kill Dr Afridi to "avenge Sheikh Osama`s killing".

"We consider Dr Shakil Afridi our avowed enemy. Our fighters will kill him wherever they find him," TTP Deputy chief Waliur Rehman told the paper.

"He has done everything for money," Rehman said referring to Dr Afridi`s role in helping the CIA track down Osama in his Abbottabad compound.

"We will get him (Dr Afridi) as soon as possible to avenge the killing of Sheikh Osama," the TTP deputy chief added.

Shakil Afridi ran a fake vaccination campaign to get DNA sample of the children of al Qaeda chief in Abbottabad.

The 33-year jail term to Afridi has created outrage in the US with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling it "unjust and unwarranted" and a Senate panel voting to cut aid to Islamabad.

(With ANI inputs)



First Published: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 13:07

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