Posted by Wordsmith on 18 March, 2015 at 10:28 am. 1 comment.


ISLAMABAD—A few days ago I spoke to the Pakistani attorney Samiullah Afridi over the phone, and he was worried. He had defended in court Dr. Shakil Afridi, the physician widely alleged to have fingered Osama bin Laden for the American hit team that killed the terrorist mastermind in 2011, and he felt ever more exposed as a target for Osama’s admirers.

Late last year, Samiullah Afridi (no relation to his client) quit the case reluctantly under a barrage of death threats targeting him and his family. On Tuesday he was shot dead as he returned to his home in Peshawar. A Taliban splinter group, Jundullah, claimed responsibility.

“It was not an easy decision to defend Dr. Shakil Afridi in the court,” Samiullah had told me when we talked on the phone. “I knew the consequences from Day One and don’t mind it,” he claimed.

But he soon spoke about the many troubles he’d encountered, and the many threats that he and his family had received not only from al Qaeda and the Taliban but, he believed, from the Pakistan’s intelligence agencies as well.

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