Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA collect data that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden, was convicted of high treason today and sentenced to 33 years in prison. Given the severity of the sentence, it's worth considering a few of the people who the Pakistani justice system has not seen fit to put behind bars:
The head of a banned charity widely believed to be a front for the international terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba is wanted by both India and the United States for his alleged role in orchestrated the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The Lahore High Court dropped all charges against Saeed in 2009. Last month, the U.S. offered a $10 million reward for information leading to Saeed's arrest, which raised some eyebrows since he's not in hiding. Saeed held a press conference inviting U.S. authorities to come and get him.
Abdul Qadeer Khan
Despite having admitted to selling nuclear secrets to North Korea, Iran, and Libya, A.Q. Khan was freed from house arrest in 2009. The father of Pakistan's nuclear program has been officially pardoned and is now immune from further prosecution.
The boss of the organized crime syndicate D-Company is believed to be one of the world's richest criminals. He is suspected of ties to both al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba and to have masterminded a series of bombings in Mumbai in 1993. Accodring to some accounts, he lives in a palatial mansion in Karachi, though the Pakistani government has always denied that he is in the country.
Qari Saifullah Akhtar
Akhtar, who is believed to have run an al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan before 9/11, was arrested in 2004 in the United Arab Emirates and turned over to Pakistan custody, then released a few months later. He was later detained in connection with an attempted assasination attempt on former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in October 2007 in Kharachi and then a successful one in December but released both times. Bhutto herself accused Akhtar of involvement in the Karachi attack. He was last released after four months under house arrest in late 2010.
The founder of the al Qaeda-affiliated militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi was released after 14 years in jail earlier this year. Ishaq has been accused in at least 70 murders and faced 44 criminal cases -- including allegeldy masterminding a 2009 attack Sri Lankan cricket team that left seven dead,* but no conviction has ever stuck.
*Correction: As originally worded, this post implied that members of the Sri Lankan cricket team were killed in the attack. In fact, it was six policemen protecting the team and a driver who were killed. Seven players and a coach were injured.
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