Skip to content



Difficult to decide why Dr. Shakil Afridi betrayed his own people by playing in the hands of Americans and more difficult is to trace the reason behind such a strong American desire of ‘snatching’ away Dr. Afridi from Pakistan. Why do the Americans need so badly, the so-called ‘Pakistani’ doctor Shakil Afridi? Some say, Dr. Afridi must be handed over to US if Dr. Afia comes back to Pakistan in exchange. According to the Sputnik, ‘Just after the death of Osama bin Laden in May 2011, the US press reported that Shakil Afridi had been collecting DNA samples of Bin Laden’s family by the order of CIA, which was confirmed by the then-CIA Director Leon Panetta and then-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.’ It means there is no ambiguity regarding Dr. Afridi’s working for the CIA. What would have been the reaction of the US government if Dr. Afridi were a US citizen and were found guilty of working for some foreign agency against the interest of the US? Certainly the US reaction would have been worse than that of Pakistan in that case. A few days back I was surfing the net in search of the CIA agents who deceived their country and started working for some hostile agencies. I wanted to know how they were treated when the secret of their ‘double-crossing’ was exposed. The first name I came by was that of Harold James Nicholson .He joined the CIA in October 1980, after having served as captain in a US Army intelligence unit. In his career with the CIA, Nicholson was assigned duties throughout the world; he worked for the CIA as an operations officer specializing in intelligence operations against foreign intelligence services, including the intelligence services of the USSR and later, the Russian Federation. From 1982 until 1985, he worked for the CIA in Manila, where he had direct contacts with targeted Soviet officials; from 1985 until 1987 he worked for the CIA in Bangkok, from 1987 until 1989 in Tokyo. From 1990 until 1992, he was the CIA Chief of Station in Bucharest, Romania. Nicholson was convicted of selling US intelligence to Russia for $300,000 and was sentenced to 23 years 7 months of imprisonment on June 5, 1997. Nicholson would come out of the prison in 2024. There was another name in the list of the US spies who were found guilty of double-crossing and of working against US’ interests, Robert Philip Hanssen. He spied for Soviet and Russian intelligence services against the United States for 22 years from 1979 to 2001. He is currently serving 15 consecutive life sentences at ADX Florence, near Florence, Colorado.  In 1984 Richard Miller, a 20-year veteran who was stationed at the FBI’s foreign counterintelligence unit in Los Angeles at the time of his arrest, was arrested for selling classified documents to Russian agents, one of whom he was having an affair with. In 1986, Miller was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. His conviction later was overturned but at a second trial in 1990 he was again found guilty. Miller was released from prison in 1994. Another FBI agent caught spying for Moscow was Earl Pitts, who volunteered to become a mole for the KGB in 1987. He handed over classified information to the Russians until 1992 and was paid more than $220,000 for the purpose. In 1996, Pitts was caught in an FBI sting operation. He pleaded guilty to espionage and in 1997 was given 27 years in prison. In short all those who worked against the national interest of the US and all those who became a tool in the hands of the agencies hostile to US were treated brutally rather mercilessly. But in case of Dr. Afridi, the US authorities are expecting from Pakistan, a response otherwise. The US authorities are doing all their best to get Dr. Afridi by hook or by crook but yet they have not succeeded. According to different media reports, Washington so many times offered Islamabad to exchange Shakil Afridi for Pakistani scientist Afia Siddique but Pakistan did never accept this ‘golden-offer.’ Finding no other way of getting Dr. Afridi out of the prison, a jail-break plan was prepared but Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence got a tip of that plan and ‘detonated’ the plan by shifting Dr. Afridi to some other safe location. The game is still on; let us see what happens next. However it seems that Pakistan would never hand over this traitor to US because in the past, handing over the spies to their god-fathers had not been a good experience particularly with reference to the Indian spies.


Leave a Reply