Aafia Siddiqui Issue–>Shameful attempt by some anchors to give it another twist using the same old nationality rant
Recently some anchors, including reputed anchor like Kamran Khan (Aaj Kamran Khan Kay Sath host) and not so reputed anchor Sana Bucha (Lekin host), have tried to show that Aafia Siddiqui is an American national or she is a dual national. Aafia’s family has repeatedly denied these allegations. It was also interesting to see that how an international lawyer like Ahmer Bilal Sufi (also affiliated with PILDAT) didn’t discuss the real aspect of the case i.e. her abduction and reasons behind her abduction.
My views on this issue are that dual national or not, the reality is that she was illegally abducted from Pakistani soil and she was a daughter of a Pakistani family. This is a ridiculous argument again trying to cash in false nationalism over single nationality or dual nationality which is not proved and most importantly was never contested in USA court in fake Afia trial. They also didn’t discuss the main accusation on the media on her i.e. her links with Al-Qaida as they didn’t have enough grounds for that. Shame on these social class fascists.
How can you allow someone to be abducted without due process if that person (national or not) has entered legally in Pakistan? The case on her was prosecuted for a stupid charge that she snatched gun from USA marines and then in the process got shot herself. No finger prints were there on the gun as was admitted by US official who gave the testimony in the case.
Apparently the momentum is being created to make a ground for the release of Dr. Shakeel afridi.
It is really shameful how things are being presented in the media. Either it is an act or irresponsibility and lack of prudence or lack of honesty, in both cases media organizations should see the professionalism standard of their anchors and opinion makers. Civil society should raise the issue on any forum.
Mina sent a really good poem for Dr. Aafia Siddiqi in the comment area of our post:
kitni ajeeb si baat hai ke
vo ekk guriya marmarri
apne hi mulk se hai biqqiiii
or lutt rahai hai gharri ghari
vo is watan ki beeti hai
or us watan ki bandhani
vo asmaan ko takti rehti hai
khuda ko dhoondti rehti hai
kiya mojze ajj bhi hote hain
kiya farishte ajj bhi hote hain
koi aa ke bachay lee mujh ko abb
Pakistani to gheerat per marte hain ,
kitni ajeeb si baat hai ke
betiyaan to sanjhi hoti thein
ab to jiss ki beeti hai
bass usi ki beeti hai
baqqi to sabb lutere hain
joo noch noch kar khate hain
jane qayamat kabb aye gi
shayed jabb Afia marr jaye gii……………
Saturday, 24 October 2009 11:22
The Pakistan Government has been ordered to secure the release of scientist Dr. Aafia Siddiqui from US custody.
Originally published in Pakistan, By Yvonne Ridley
The Islamabad High Court made the ground-breaking directive in a move welcomed by her family, supporters and anyone who wants to see justice delivered to a woman who has been trapped in a hellish existence for the last six years.
However, not everyone is happy that Justice Raja Saeed Akram has ordered the government to work towards bringing Aafia home.
As I discovered a few days ago during a visit to Pakistan it seems her ex-husband Dr. Muhammad Amjad Khan has been briefing against the mother of his three children.
In an exclusive interview given to Karachi journalist Aroosa Masroor at The News, Dr. Khan said that most claims about Aafia, propagated to garner public support and sympathy, are untrue.
Why he chose to break his silence after six years is not immediately obvious … unless you buy in to the crazy theory that he was instrumental in his wife’s arrest and disappearance.
Of course it would be outrageous and defamatory to suggest Dr. Khan was involved and I certainly have no evidence to suggest otherwise, but what intrigues me is why this man would want to try and deliberately mislead the public as he did in his first on-the-record interview.
I am not sure what are his motives but, in a conference I gave at the Islamabad National Press Club this week I threw out a challenge to Dr. Khan to either put up or shut up.
In his February 18 interview he said: “Aafia’s release cannot be secured by propagating stories based on falsehood and deception,” and then he went on to tell a lie so blatant that I can no longer remain silent, and here’s why.
He reckons that the iconic photograph of Aafia, slumped to one side with eyes closed, was a stunted up picture taken by her sister Fowzia years ago. He even goes into fine detail explaining her injured mouth, saying that Aafia’s upper lip was cut by a milk bottle in an accident.
Fowzia, he says, warned him at the time that if he tried to divorce Aafia, she would use the picture against him alleging him to be an abusive husband. “It was made to appear in the picture that Aafia was badly injured. Today, the same picture is being circulated in the media to claim that Aafia was tortured for years in Bagram,” he states in The News interview.
There’s no hesitation in this statement – he is very clear about the origins of ‘that picture’. Well I am also clear about the origins of ‘that picture’ because it was taken by the office of the Governor of Ghazni in July 2008.
How do I know? Because the governor told me so himself, and then showed me copies of that and other pictures taken of Aafia on the day of her arrest that he stored on his personal laptop. If you check this unedited footage shot by film-maker Hassan al Banna Ghani who accompanied me on my investigations to Pakistan and Afghanistan last year, the origins of that iconic picture become very clear.
That is why I stood up in a press conference a few days ago and called Dr. Khan a liar, and then invited him to sue me “in a court of his choice” for slander and defamation. As a journalist I know the seriousness of making such a statement and I do not make it lightly but I also mean what I say and say what I mean.
In the meantime, I will let you – the viewer – make your own judgment about the photograph of Dr. Aafia. Perhaps you have your own theories about why her ex-husband would lie. Here is the clip
The divorce was, without doubt, a very bitter experience for both sides as most divorces are. Bitterness can remain a lifetime companion, but at the end of the day Dr. Aafia is the mother of his three children and as such she deserves his support and respect.
If he can’t give it, then I suggest Dr. Khan returns to the shadows once more and stops briefing against his wife.
Sharing details of his failed marriage with Dr. Aafia, serves no purpose although I have to question why Dr. Khan signed a legal agreement whereby the custody of the three children was given to Aafia after their split, if he really thought his wife was (as he portrays in the article) … a violent, unstable woman in the sway of jihadists.
In the meantime two of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s children – Marium now aged 10, and six-year-old Suleiman – are still missing.
Perhaps that is something which would concern any parent, but Dr. Khan states casually: “I am sure they are around Karachi and in contact with their maternal family as both Aafia and the children were seen around their house here and in Islamabad on multiple occasions since their alleged disappearance in 2003.
“They may be living under an assumed identity just like Aafia and Ahmed had been living [as Saliha and Ali Ahsan] for five years before they got arrested.”
He said Dr. Fowzia’s claim that the children are missing after being removed from the Bagram prison in Afghanistan “may be an attempt to attract sympathy of the government and the people and distract its attention from the real location.”
He also attempts to pour cold water on claims that Aafiya was held in US custody, including Bagram for five years – but how would he really know?
I, on the otherhand, have eye witness accounts that the woman known as Prisoner 650 who was held in Bagram for years is none other than Dr. Aafia Siddiqui.
Even the US authorities, after months of denial, finally supported my statements and admitted that Prisoner 650 was indeed a female detainee in their custody.
The only dispute we have now is the identity of Prisoner 650. The US authorities say she isn’t Aafia but refuse to say who she is and to which country she was returned.
I, on the other hand, now have an interview statement given freely by former Guantanamo detainee Binyam Mohamed confirming that Prisoner 650 and Dr. Aafia Siddiqui are one in the same. This man saw her during his time in Bagram and has made a positive identification. His evidence is, in my opinion, irrefutable.
Again, make your own judgments by checking out Binyam Mohamed’s interview through this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGHWcPRBQr8
I now understand Aafia’s case is going to be submitted to the International Court of Justice in The Hague and that the government of Pakistan is making serious efforts on this issue.
In the meantime the case against Aafia will be resumed in New York later this month after a psychologist and physician give their reports regarding her health and if she is fit to plead.
The court hearing is, in itself, illegal and I’m not sure how it can go ahead. I say that on the basis Aafia, is after all a Pakistani citizen who is being tried for an alleged offence carried out in Afghanistan. She is only standing trial in America because she was put on a rendition flight to America – and was certainly not extradited.
* Yvonne Ridley is a patron of the human rights organisation Cage Prisoners and works as a broadcast journalist. her weekly show The Agenda goes out every Friday evening 8.07(GMT) on Press TV – her website is www.yvonneridley.org
References to this aricle:
Interview with Binyam Mohamed: http://www.presstv.com/programs/player/?id=90350
Interview with Governor of Ghazni: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBhseSkNX68
Interview in The News: http://www.thenews.com.pk/print3.asp?id=20404
LAHORE: Dr Aafia’s case can be referred to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) under ‘Pakistan Friendship and Commerce Treaty’ signed between the US and Pakistan which allows citizens of both the countries to approach the ICJ without any state approval.
The Lahore High Court (LHC) observed this while disposing of petition seeking repatriation of Dr Afia from the US and commencement of litigation for the purpose in the ICJ. The Foreign Ministry was also directed to examine litigation in the ICJ and initiate that within thirty days if the court verdict favored it.
The court held that the then Islamabad High Court in its verdict in a petition for Dr Afia had directed the Foreign Ministry to find ways and means, especially diplomatic channels, for repatriation of Dr Afia and recovery of the minors, and, if they failed, examine filing of reference to the United Nations (UN) which had not taken any decision after the lapse of a long period.
The court also observed that the allegations of paying huge amounts to a panel of three American lawyers, Elaine Sharpe, Linda Morano and Charles Swift, who were hired to represent Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s case in a federal court of the US, for receiving kick-backs was based on assumptions and no proceedings could be initiated merely on such grounds unless some proofs were provided in support of the allegations, which for the time being were lacking and the petitioner might approach afresh, if he succeeded in providing any cogent evidence to supplement the said allegations.
PAKISTAN/USA: A lady doctor is missing with her three children since five years after her arrest
Name of victim: Ms. Dr. Afia Siddiqui and her three children
Block 7, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, Sindh province
Name of units of the alleged perpetrators: Intelligence agencies of Pakistan and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI-US)
I am shocked to know that Dr. Afia Siddiqui, a Pakistani citizen has been missing with her three children since April 2003, after her arrest by Pakistani authorities. The whereabouts of children is also unknown, which is a serious act of negligence on the part of the government with regard to its responsibility to protect the citizen of the Pakistan.
According to the information I have received Dr. Afia was picked-up by Pakistani authorities while on her way to the airport and initial reports suggested that she was handed over to the American FBI. A few days later an American news channel, NBC, reported that Afia had been arrested in Pakistan on suspicion of facilitating money transfers for terror networks of Osama Bin Laden.
On April 1, 2003, a small news item was published in an Urdu daily with reference to a press conference of then Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat when, in reply to a question regarding the arrest of Dr. Siddiqui, he said she has not been arrested. A weekly English magazine in its special coverage on Dr. Afia reported that after one week of the incident, an intelligence agency official, a motor cyclist in plain clothes, came to the house of her mother and warned ‘We know that you are connected to higher-ups but do not make an issue out of her daughter’s disappearance’ and threatened her with dire consequences. After this development the whereabouts of Dr. Afia and her children are yet unknown.
What is also of grave concern to me is that when she was arrested by Pakistani authorities she was handed over to American intelligence agencies without being tried in Pakistan, I do not find any rationale in sending her along with her children to other country when there are Pakistani laws to deal with the suspected terrorists. It is known that President Musharraf handed over 600 suspected terrorists to America.
There are reports that in Afghanistan’s prison of Bagram there is a woman prison known as Prisoner 650 and that she has been severely tortured. It is also widely suspected that Prisoner 650 is Dr. Afia Siddiqui. This prisoner has reportedly lost her mind due to constant rape and ill treatment.
I remind you that this is the duty of coalition government under Prime Minister Mr. Yousaf Raza Gillani to probe cases of those Pakistani suspected terrorists who have been handed over to foreign forces in the name of war on terror. The government should also inform Pakistani citizens about the whereabouts of Dr. Afia Siddiqui and her children. I also demand that government should also ensure the safety of her children.
Thanks & Regards.
Usman Ullah ShabQadar