The Pakistani press does not share the outrage of U.S. lawmakers at the 33-year prison sentence of the doctor who helped the CIA locate Osama bin Laden. In fact, Dr. Shakil Afridi, convicted of running a fake vaccination drive to collect the DNA of bin Laden's family members, should be glad he wasn't executed according to one Pakistani daily.
In Pakistan's oldest English-language newspaper Dawn, Afridi is described ominously as an "anti-state agent" who went down the path of CIA collaboration after graduating from medical school in 1990. In today's issue of the Business Recorder, Pakistan's "premier" financial daily, a headline reads "US should respect decision to imprison Dr. Afridi." The article is bolstered by a quote from foreign ministry spokesman Moazzam Ali Khan who said "I think as far as the case of Afridi is concerned, it was in accordance with Pakistani laws and by the courts, and we need to respect each other's legal processes." A story in one of Pakistan's largest tabloids, The News International, builds the case that Afridi was lucky he wasn't executed.
“He should have been tried in a Pakistani court instead of the FCR to execute him on the treason charge,” a lawyer is quoted as saying, referring to the Frontier Crimes Regulation. “He would have faced death sentence had he been tried under the Pakistani court.” According to the anonymously-cited lawyer, the U.S. pressured Pakistan to conduct the trial under a separate court to save Afridi from execution.