Pakistan: Militants deny links with Shakil Afridi

Pakistan`s latest claim that the reason for sentencing Dr Shakil Afridi was his links with Lashkar-e-Islam suffered a serious blow.

Updated: May 31, 2012, 15:05 PM IST

Peshawar: Pakistan`s latest claim that the reason for sentencing Dr Shakil Afridi to 33 years in prison for treason was his links with banned group Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI) suffered a serious blow, after the militant group denied they had anything to do with him and that they would actually kill him if they had the chance.

Dr Afridi was sentenced to 33 years in jail after he was found ``guilty`` of treason.

According to court documents, Afridi was convicted not for working for the CIA, but for having alleged ties with the LeI, led by Mangal Bagh, which is feared for kidnappings and extortion in the Kyber district, reports The Express Tribune.

The court order said Afridi had "close links" to the group, saying the doctor’s "love" for Bagh and his "association with him was an open secret".

The court said Afridi paid Rs 2 million to the LeI and provided medical assistance to militant commanders in Khyber.

However, the commander said Rs 2 million was a fine imposed on Dr Afridi for over-charging patients.

According to sources, Dr Afridi was fleecing tribesmen, giving them fake medicines and doing fake surgeries. The commander received several complaints against Dr Afridi, following which a fine of Rs 2 million was imposed him.

Local residents also said Bagh fined Afridi for performing unnecessary surgeries and over-charging patients at his private clinic in the town of Bara.