Dr Afridi’s appeal Khyber admin told to produce record
PESHAWAR/BANNU, June 21: MPA Ziad Akram Durrani, the son of former chief minister Akram Khan Durrani, passed away due to cardiac arrest in Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) in Peshawar. He was 30.
When Judge Tariq Jamil, who is the appellate forum under FCR, took up for hearing Dr Afridi’s appeal, it was informed that the record had so far not been sent to the court.
Also, since nobody appeared on behalf of the Khyber Agency’s political administration, the commissioner adjourned the hearing.
The convict’s brother, Jamil Afridi, had filed the appeal on his behalf, saying the lower court passed the impugned conviction order on mere surmises and conjectures and therefore, the order was liable to be dismissed and the appellant should be acquitted.
Dr Afridi, a former agency surgeon, was picked up allegedly by an intelligence agency in May last year on suspicion of helping CIA trace Osama bin Laden through a fake vaccination campaign in Abbottabad.
Dr Afridi was shifted to the Peshawar Central Prison on May 23 after his conviction by the assistant political agent of Bara tehsil in Khyber Agency. He has been placed in solitary confinement.
A panel of lawyers, who appeared for Dr Afridi, included Samiullah Afridi, Ijaz Khan Mohmand and Raza Khan.
Under Section 48 of FCR, an appeal against the order of the APA could be filed before the FCR commissioner. In this case, commissioner of Peshawar division Tariq Jamil was given these powers.
Denying all charges against him, the appellant stated in the appeal that he had no association with the defunct Lashkar-i-Islam and the members of the said militant outfit never sat or gathered in his office or were associated with him.
It added that the appellant had no links with Lashkar-i-Islam and in fact, he was kidnapped by the said outfit in 2008 and his brother and friends were forced to pay one million rupees for his release. “In this light, allegations extending financial
assistance of two million rupees to the said organisation are false and baseless.”
The appellant has also raised a technical point regarding the APA powers saying the lower court being a magistrate of first class had the powers to sentence a person up to seven years imprisonment but ironically, the appellant was given 33 years imprisonment which was beyond the powers and jurisdiction of the APA/additional district magistrate and therefore, the order was not sustainable under the law.
The appellant was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment each under Section 121-A (conspiracy to wage war against country or depriving Pakistan of its sovereignty), Section 123 (concealing existence of a plan to wage war against Pakistan) and Section 123-A (Condemnation of the creation of the State and advocacy of abolition of its sovereignty) of PPC, and was sentenced to additional three years under Section 124 (Assaulting President, Governor etc with intention to compel or
restrain the exercise of any lawful power) of PPC.
The APA pronounced that the prison terms would run consecutively, which means that Dr Afridi has to spend 33 years in prison.