Wednesday, May 23, 2012

treason pakistani style

i can't say i know much about pakistani criminal law. maybe the charge of "treason" means something a little different there than it does here. but i still find it really strange that shakil afridi was charged with treason for helping the u.s. find osama bin laden. bin laden was an international fugitive. the pakistani government claimed that it was looking for him to. i understand "treason" as aiding an enemy of the state. does that mean the u.s. is an enemy of pakistan? that's not what the pakistani government says publicly.

the NYT article also refers to the charge against him as "acting against the state." i suppose that could be something less severe and maybe could encompass actions that are viewed as against the country's state policies but which don't rise to the level of treason as i understand it. if i think of it as something separate from treason i guess i can see how giving a foreign country information that would permit it to stage a military raid within pakistan's borders without the pakistani government's permission as "acting against the state." but the article also seems to be using the words "treason" and "acting against the state" interchangeably. so maybe that's all treason means in pakistan.