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Last Updated: Monday, 14 March, 2005, 13:30 GMT
Doctors jailed for militant links
Dr Akmal Waheed
Dr Akmal being taken to jail after the verdict
Two Pakistani doctors have been sentenced to seven years in prison after being convicted of assisting Islamic militants.

Akmal Waheed and Arshad Waheed were found guilty of providing financial and medical aid to Jundullah, a militant group with alleged al-Qaeda links.

The two brothers say they have done nothing wrong and are planning to appeal against their sentences.

The convictions are part of Pakistan's attempts to curb Islamic militancy.

We are doctors and we are duty bound to provide medical help to injured people
Dr Akmal Waheed

"Evidence against them is sufficient, therefore, they have been given the maximum punishment, which is seven years," the anti-terrorism judge trying the two doctors in the port city of Karachi said in his judgment.

The two doctors were also fined 50,000 rupees ($839) each.

"Our only sin was that we provided medical relief to the war-stricken Afghans. We have no regrets. We are proud," Dr Akmal told reporters after being sentenced.

"What we did was an obligation of our professional duties," AFP news agency quoted him as saying.

"We are doctors and we are duty bound to provide medical help to injured people."

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The court found them guilty of aiding the Jundullah group which is suspected of involvement in the attack on a top military commander, General Aslam Saleem Hayat, in Karachi last year.

The attack killed 11 people but Gen Hayat escaped unhurt. He has since been promoted and now serves as Pakistan's vice chief of army staff.

The Waheed brothers were also charged with providing medical treatment to two alleged al-Qaeda members, Abu Hashim and Abu Mussab, AFP reports.

The agency quoted their lawyer as saying that it was "a case fit for appeal" and that "there is no evidence".

The Waheed brothers were detained in July 2004 for their alleged links to Islamic militants.

The verdict was announced on Monday from a makeshift courtroom inside Karachi's high security central prison.


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