Pakistan militants say bin Laden doc not tied to them

Fox News:
The militant group that, according to a Pakistan court, had close ties to the doctor who helped the United States track Usama bin Laden is claiming to have no association with him.  
A commander from the group Lashkar-e-Islam told AFP that "We have no link to such a shameless man. If we see him, we'll chew him alive."  
The comment -- and the apparent enmity between the group and Dr. Shakil Afridi -- casts serious doubt on the allegations made in the court judgment used as the basis for Afridi's 33-year prison sentence.  
It was initially assumed that Afridi was sentenced for his role in helping the U.S. find bin Laden. 
But after U.S. officials expressed outrage at the Pakistani government and threatened to cut off aid, the judgment in the case emerged -- it accused him not of aiding U.S. intelligence, but assisting Lashkar-e-Islam.  
It claimed Afridi provided "financial assistance" to the group as well as "medical assistance" to its "militant commanders" while working at a hospital.  
However, the Afridi tribe has actually had long-running tensions with Lashkar-e-Islam, which the commander speaking to the AFP seemed to confirm.  
The unnamed commander acknowledged that Afridi paid Lashkar-e-Islam 2 million rupees ($21,000), but said the money was a fine imposed for overcharging patients. 

Pakistan's claim that a doctor who would help the US find bin Laden was also tied to a militant Islamist group just is not credible.  I suspect the claim was manufactured after they realize how much their ridiculous sentence angered the US.  There are plenty of people associated with Lashkar-e-Islam who are real terrorist, but the government has made little effort to find and prosecute them.

The US needs to continue to press for the doctor's release.  Pakistan should get no aid until that happens.


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