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Friday, Jul 05, 2002


"Afridi is probably the only person capable of gathering the Pashtun commanders and tribal chiefs together to broker their interests to get them to agree on one leadership - which could be either former monarch Zahir Shah or any of his nominees - to initially form an interim set-up leading to the formation of a constitutional framework to establish an elected government in Afghanistan."

"Without fanfare, Afridi was freed from prison in Karachi last Thursday after serving just a few weeks of a seven-year sentence for the export of 6.5 tons of hashish, seized at Antwerp, Belgium, in the 1980s. (He had been in custody for over two years). He had also been fined 5 million rupees (US$82,000). No reasons were given for Afridi's release, or under which legislation he was allowed to return to his home town in Khyber Agency in North Western Frontier Province."