Times Square bombing plot: Kin believe Shahzad `framed`

Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad`s arrest for the botched Times Square bombing plot in New York City has shocked his relatives who believe that he has been "framed".

Islamabad: Pakistani-American Faisal
Shahzad`s arrest for the botched Times Square bombing plot in
New York City has shocked his relatives who believe that he
has been "framed".

Residents of Mohib Banda, Shahzad`s ancestral village in
Pubbi area of Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa province, said members of
the 30-year-old`s family believed he had been implicated in a
"false" case.

"They are a well-respected family. They are apolitical,"
a family friend told the `Dawn` newspaper.

Shahzad`s family owns agricultural land and property
in Mohib Banda but does not live there.

Residents of Mohib Banda said Shahzad attended a wedding
in the village during his last visit to the area early this
year.
Shahzad`s cousin Kifayatullah Khan said: "I know
Shahzad`s family very well. They are highly respected in the
entire village and adjoining areas."

Khan, a former member of the provincial bar council, said
the family believed Shahzad had been "framed".

"The entire family is highly educated and enlightened.
The villagers don`t believe that Shahzad could act in such a
manner," he said.

Shahzad is the son of Baharul Haq, a retired Air Vice
Marshal of the Pakistan Air Force who also served in the
Civil Aviation Authority.

Haq has a home in the posh Hayatabad area of Peshawar
that he hurriedly vacated yesterday after news of his son`s
arrest broke.

Witnesses said Haq put some belongings in a vehicle and
left the home with other members of the family. No members of
the family spoke to a group of reporters that gathered outside
their home.

Shahzad is married to a woman from Mardan district of
Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa. His mother is from Charsadda district and
his elder brother is an engineer currently living in Canada.

Officials told Dawn that Shahzad had been using three
passports ? two of them Pakistani ? since 2003. He travelled
to the US via Dubai on an Emirate Airlines flight from
Islamabad in the first week of February.

A complaint filed by the FBI in a US court yesterday
said Shahzad had received bomb-making training in Waziristan
tribal region in northwest Pakistan.

PTI

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