Washington: The Taliban have attempted to kidnap the brother and other relatives of jailed Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi, who helped the CIA trace Osama bin Laden, it has emerged.
According to Qamar Afridi, a cousin of Dr Shakil Afridi, the alleged attempted abduction happened on Monday, when a man identifying himself as a representative of Afghan President Hamid Karzai met with a family lawyer in Peshawar to discuss the case.
The man reportedly said the Afghan leader wanted to help the Afridi family, and was willing to offer them financial support in their efforts to free the doctor.
According to Fox News, the family reacted to the offer with alarm because the Karzai government has shown no interest in the Afridi case.
An Afghan official confirmed those suspicions, saying “no one from the Karzai administration has reached out to Afridi, nor do they intend to”.
Qamar said he believed it was the Taliban behind what he calls ‘an attempted abduction’.
“We believe it was the Taliban. It has to be … We firmly believe this is the Taliban trying to get us,” the report quoted him, as saying.
According to the report, the attempted abduction is the latest in what has been a series of difficult ordeals facing the Afridi family.
They have not been able to visit the surgeon in his jail cell in Peshawar since August 02, only their third visit permitted since he was jailed in May.
They were not allowed to talk him without senior prison officials present.
First Published: Saturday, August 25, 2012, 12:19