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September 10, 2015

Fata Tribunal issues last warning to official for record submission

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September 10, 2015

PESHAWAR: The Fata Tribunal has issued the last warning to the political agent of Khyber Agency to submit the complete record of Dr Shakil Afridi’s case after having delivered 17 notices to him during the last 18 months.
The Fata Tribunal was hearing the petition by Dr Shakil Afridi challenging the upholding of his conviction by an appellate forum for his alleged links with an outlawed militant organisation.
The tribunal comprising Chairman Sange Marjan Khan and members Hussain Zada Khan and Atif Nazir again adjourned the petition without hearing till October 16.
The recently reconstituted Fata Tribunal has issued four notices to the Khyber Agency’s political agent in the case. The previous chairman, Shah Wali Khan, and members Pir Fida and Akbar Khan had issued 13 notices to the political agent. However, the record of Dr Shakil Afridi’s case was not submitted due to unknown reasons.
The tribunal, which is the third and final judicial forum under the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR), also adjourned hearing of a petition of the Khyber Agency administration seeking enhancement in the sentence awarded to Dr Shakil Afridi.
On March 15, 2014, the FCR commissioner, which is the appellate forum, had upheld the conviction of Dr Shakil Afridi for maintaining links with the outlawed militant organization, Lashkar-i-Islam (LI) of Khyber Agency. However, it had reduced his imprisonment sentence given by the assistant political agent’s court from 33 to 23 years and the fine from Rs320,000 to Rs220,000.
Dr Shakil Afridi has now challenged the upholding of his conviction by the FCR commissioner by filing the present revision petition. Despite the passage of 18 months no progress has been made in the petition. Qamar Nadeem Afridi appeared for Dr Shakil Afridi and contended that due to non-provision of record the case was being delayed. The petitioner, Dr Shakil Afridi, claimed he was denied the right to fair trial and was convicted by the assistant

political agent on “flimsy grounds”. He said the FCR commissioner had ignored several facts while upholding his conviction.
Dr Shakil Afridi was reportedly seized by members of an intelligence agency in May 2011 on suspicion of helping the CIA to trace Osama bin Laden. However, he was not convicted on that charge. Instead, he was tried for having links to the militant group, Lashkar-e-Islam, and treating its injured fighters. The FCR commissioner had also stated in the decision that Dr Shakil Afridi should also be tried in a proper forum on charges of spying for the CIA.