Pakistan: doctor who helped CIA not convicted for ties to US

A Pakistani doctor who helped the US government find Osama bin Laden was convicted last week for his association to a militant group in Pakistan, not for his ties to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), as was originally reported. A court document released to the press indicates that Dr. Shakeel Afridi was sentenced to 33 years in prison because of his association with a banned militant group (Lashkar-e-Islam, according to Reuters). The document noted that the court did not have jurisdiction to address Afridi's association with the CIA. Afridi was part of a CIA attempt to gather DNA samples from residents of bin Laden's Abbattobad compound in an effort to determine whether bin Laden was present there. Pakistani court officials originally reported that Shakil was imprisoned because of his work with the CIA. It is unclear why these false reports were made.

From Jurist, May 30. Used with permission.

File under "murky"...

So the politics of this conviction seem to be the opposite of what they originally appeared. Is John McCain going to eat his call for the guy to be pardoned? And if he was really working for the CIA, isn't it likely that he was in Lashkar-e-Islam as an infiltrator?

Can anyone explain what is going on here?

Pakistan attacks on health workers: CIA blowback?

Over the past week, gunmen on motocycles killed health workers administering on polio vaccines in a wave of attack across Pakistan last week, with the toll now standing at nine.  The United Nations has said it has pulled its field workers, but the Pakistan government says it will continue the program without them. Yet even Pakistan has suspended the program in Sindh province for fear of attack. The Taliban haven't officially claimed responsibility, but their propaganda has been portraying the vaccination camapign as a Western plot against Muslims. Such fears were exacerbated by the CIA's use of a doctor working in a vaccination program to spy on Osama bin Laden's compound before the assassination last year. (NPR, Reuters, Dec. 23)

Pakistan attacks on health workers: CIA blowback —again?

Well, jihadis in Pakistan were already targeting health workers before the CIA subterfuge in the Osama bin Laden sting. But we can be sure that the subterfuge made the problem worse. Three polio workers were killed in Karachi Jan. 21, just a day after authorities began a new vaccination drive. In December, three people working on polio vaccination teams were shot dead in Pakistan's northwest. (BBC News)

Anti-vax jihad scores another blow

At least 15 people, among them 12 police and a paramilitary official, were killed and over a dozen others injured in a blast targeting police outside a polio vaccination centre in Quetta.(SAMAA, Jan. 13)