Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search

Terrorism & Security

Pakistan to US: Respect our decision to sentence CIA informant

After a Pakistani doctor was sentenced to 33 years in prison on treason charges for helping the CIA find Osama bin Laden, the US protested, saying he was acting against Al Qaeda, not Pakistan.   

By Staff writer / May 24, 2012

• A daily summary of global reports on security issues.

Skip to next paragraph

Middle East Editor

Ariel Zirulnick is the Monitor's Middle East editor, overseeing regional coverage both for and the weekly magazine. She is also a contributor to the international desk's terrorism and security blog. 

Recent posts

In response to US ire and a pledge to assist a Pakistani doctor charged with treason for helping the US capture Osama bin Laden, the Pakistani foreign ministry called on the US to "respect" its legal process.

Dr. Shakil Afridi ran a vaccination program to help the CIA collect DNA to verify that the man hiding in Abbotabad was, indeed, Mr. bin Laden. Yesterday Afridi was sentenced to 33 years in prison by a tribal court and issued a $3,500 fine on charges of "conspiring 'to wage war against Pakistan or depriving it of its sovereignty,' 'concealing existence of a plan to wage war against Pakistan' and 'condemnation of the creation of the state and advocacy of abolition of its sovereignty'," Pakistani newspaper Dawn reports.

“I think as far as the case of Mr. Afridi is concerned, it was in accordance with Pakistani laws and by the Pakistani courts, and we need to respect each other’s legal processes,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Moazzam Ali Khan told reporters today, according to Dawn.

But the US State Department said yesterday that there is "no basis" for Afridi's arrest. "We continue to see no basis for these charges, for him being held, for any of it," said spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, according to the Guardian. "We will continue to make representations."

The Guardian reports that the Obama administration is "privately" angry, insisting that the doctor was acting against Al Qaeda, not Pakistan. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta expressed his concerns about Afridi's arrest as early as January and the administration hoped for months that he would be released as the controversy stirred up by the bin Laden raid settled. 


Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer


Doing Good


What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!