February 13, 2012
ISLAMABAD: Osama Bin Laden’s brother-in-law has written to the Chief Justice of Pakistan to seek the release of the former al-Qaeda chief’s widow, Dawn.com learnt on Monday.
After failing to seek a response from the security establishment, Zakaria Ahmad al-Sadah has written to Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, requesting his direct interference for securing the release of Amal al-Sadah his sister and Bin Laden’s widow.
According to the letter made available to Dawn.com, Zakaria has termed the disappearance of Bin Laden’s family “illegal.”
The former al-Qaeda chief’s family has been held captive by “Pakistani authorities for eight months,” Zakaria has written in his plea.
Ever since the operation by US Navy SEALS that killed Bin Laden, 16 members of his family have disappeared. Amal (Bin Laden’s fifth wife) and her five children are Yemeni nationals, while the other family members of Saudi nationality.
In his trip to Pakistan last November, Zakaria was supposed to meet with his sister on two occasions and take her (and her children) back to Yemen but his attempt remained unsuccessful.
Zakaria, who is a student of journalism at Sana’a University (a leading force in the country’s pro-democracy demonstrations since the beginning of the revolution in Yemen), has said in his letter that he hopes the chief justice will be able to stop any “oppression” against his sister and her children.
The commission probing the operation against Bin Laden and his stay in Pakistan announced last October that travel restrictions on the family members had been lifted but Zakaria claims otherwise.
Sources believe that Yemen’s Ambassador to Pakistan Abdu Ali Abdul Rahman held a meeting with Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Zakaria last December 12, requesting the release of Amal and her children but the meeting remained unfruitful.
According to Zakaria, Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies had earlier promised to let him meet his sister, but they backed out later. With no recent news on the family, Zakaria said that he is unaware of how and where his sister is now.