Quotes of the day

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday denounced as “unjust and unwarranted” the treatment of a Pakistani doctor who was jailed for 33 years for helping in the hunt for Osama bin Laden…

The chief US diplomat said Afridi’s role “was instrumental in taking down one of the world’s most wanted murderers. That was clearly in Pakistan’s interest, as well as ours and the rest of the world’s.”…

Her remarks were stronger than those given Wednesday by State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland who said Pakistan had “no basis for Dr. Afridi to be held.”


Two Senate committees today took the first legislative steps to cut aid to Pakistan after that country’s conviction of Dr. Shakil Afridi, who aided American intelligence in its mission to kill Osama bin Laden…

The Senate Appropriations Committee cut Pakistan’s assistance by the symbolic amount of $33 million – $1 million for each year Afridi’s sentence

The committee approved the amendment, offered by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., by a unanimous 30-0 vote. The funds would continue to be withheld until Afridi gets released from prison and cleared of all charges relating to his assistance in locating bin Laden.


“He was not and is not a spy for our country. This was not a crime against Pakistan. It was an effort and locate and help bring to justice the world’s No. 1 terrorist,” [Feinstein] said. “This conviction says to be that al Qaeda is viewed by the court to be Pakistan … I don’t know which side of the war Pakistan is on.”…

“It is Alice in Wonderland, at best, but it is outrageous in itself. If this is cooperation, I would hate like heck to see opposition,” Leahy said…

“Pakistan is a schizophrenic at best ally,” Graham said as he introduced the amendment to cut funding over the Afridi situation. “They are helping the Haqqani network … which is basically a mob trying to take over parts of Afghanistan. And the ISI constantly provides assistance in Quetta on the Pakistani side of the border.”

“The situation with the doctor is a classic example of not understanding the world the way it is,” Graham said. “We need Pakistan, but we don’t need a Pakistan that cannot see the justice in bringing bin Laden to an end.”


Former U.S. intelligence officers accused the Obama administration of dropping the ball on the case of the Pakistani doctor sentenced to 33 years in prison for helping find Usama bin Laden — with one openly challenging the State Department’s claim that it pressed his case “regularly” with Islamabad…

Peter Brookes, a former analyst and adviser with several intelligence agencies who is now a senior fellow with the Heritage Foundation, told Fox News on Thursday that the U.S. should have had a plan to get him out of Pakistan immediately following the raid…

“From what I’m hearing, we did pretty much nothing,” [former military intelligence officer Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer] said. “We did nothing diplomatically at all, didn’t raise a finger. … From what my sources tell me, we did nothing to try and help this guy.”

He and Brookes expressed concern that Afridi’s plight could make it more difficult to convince foreign sources to work with U.S. intelligence on counterterror missions in the future.


Pakistan’s clear message to the U.S.: don’t violate our sovereignty. Its message to its own citizens: don’t even think about cooperating with the CIA. To ensure that Afridi would be found guilty and sentenced harshly, Islamabad arranged to have him tried in a government court presided over by a tribal political agent in consultation with a council of elders under the 19th-century Frontier Crimes Regulations that were drawn up by the British colonial power at the time. Under the FCR, the court is not subject to the Pakistani constitution, and its sentences are usually harsher than those handed down by the mainstream Pakistani court system. Nor can the sentences of tribal courts be appealed in normal Pakistani courts. Once sentenced, Afridi was transferred immediately out of the Khyber tribal agency and thrown into the Central Prison in Peshawar.

The government insists it will ensure his safety. But many Pakistanis are not so sure. In the court of public opinion, he is seen as a traitor. Not surprisingly, the Pakistani Taliban praised the sentence. “In my heart I wanted to kiss feet of the political agent for punishing Shakil with a lifelong prison term,” Janfida Wazir, a Pakistani Taliban commander from the South Waziristan tribal agency, tells The Daily Beast. “Our mujahideen, Sheik Osama’s family, and I are very happy with the great judgment of the political agent.”

Wazir also says militants are determined to kidnap or kill Afridi if they get the chance. “Shakil is a dead man already,” he says. “The government can’t build a separate jail for him.” Afghans and Pakistanis who are cooperating with the U.S. eventually will meet Afridi’s fate and be abandoned by the U.S., adds Wazir. “What happened to Afridi is a good lesson for those puppets of the U.S. in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he says. “They will be thrown away like rubbish after the U.S. has achieved its goals.”


Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA collect data that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden, was convicted of high treason today and sentenced to 33 years in prison. Given the severity of the sentence, it’s worth considering a few of the people who the Pakistani justice system has not seen fit to put behind bars:

Hafiz Saeed

The head of a banned charity widely believed to be a front for the international terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba is wanted by both India and the United States for his alleged role in orchestrated the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The Lahore High Court dropped all charges against Saeed in 2009. Last month, the U.S. offered a $10 million reward for information leading to Saeed’s arrest, which raised some eyebrows since he’s not in hiding. Saeed held a press conference inviting U.S. authorities to come and get him.

Abdul Qadeer Khan

Despite having admitted to selling nuclear secrets to North Korea, Iran, and Libya, A.Q. Khan was freed from house arrest in 2009. The father of Pakistan’s nuclear program has been officially pardoned and is now immune from further prosecution.



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