WASHINGTON: The wife and children of Dr Shakil Afridi were seeking immediate evacuation from Pakistan, Fox News reported on Sunday.
Dr Afridi, who helped the United States locate Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, has been jailed in Peshawar for his alleged links to various terrorist groups.
In a report based on interviews with friends and relatives of Dr Afridi, the US news channel claimed that his wife and children were “in increasing fear for their lives and should be evacuated from Pakistan immediately.”
The 51-year old physician is considered a hero in the United States for his role in the May 2011 SEAL Team 6 raid that killed the Al Qaeda leader.
The report claimed that Dr Afridi was still in isolation in a Pakistani jail and his bid for a review of his 2012 conviction for “terrorism links” has been stalled since last March.
Dr Afridi’s wife and his two sons and a daughter had left their native province and were now hiding in Punjab. They feared for their lives because the Taliban and other terrorist groups had vowed to avenge Bin Laden’s killing, the report said.
“I am sorry to say that (the) US government is doing nothing for him,” Qamar Nadeem Afridi, the doctor’s lawyer and also a cousin, told Fox News.
Both the White House and the US State Department have publicly urged Pakistan to release Dr Afridi but his lawyer said that the US government had done little to help his family.
Qamar Nadeem said that Dr Afridi’s brother Jamil and his friends were bearing most of the doctor’s legal and other expenses.
Published in Dawn February 2nd , 2015