Pakistan court frees two doctors sentenced to 7 years

A Pakistani court Friday freed two doctor brothers who had each been sentenced to seven years in prison last year for giving money and medical treatment to militants, their lawyer said.

The brothers, Akmal and Arshad Waheed, were found guilty in March last year on a charge of harboring members of a domestic militant group called Jundallah, blamed by authorities for a series of terrorist attacks in the country.

They were also convicted of providing members with medical treatment covertly, providing them financial assistance and sending them for terrorism training.

On Friday, a two-judge panel of the Sindh High Court in Karachi quashed the convictions and ruled that the physicians be freed, said their lawyer, Ilayas Khan.

Iqtidar Hashmi, a prosecution lawyer, said he would make a decision on whether to appeal the court's decision after seeking instructions from the government.

The doctors, whose trial was held last year in a jail for security reasons, have said that they had done nothing wrong by providing medical treatment to war-wounded people from Afghanistan.

Pakistan is a key ally of the United States in its war on terror, and Pakistani security forces have arrested more than 750 allegedly al-Qaida-linked militants since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, reports the AP.


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