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
Recent incidents of Gojra, Muridkai and some other parts made me sad and made me to think about whether this is the Pakistan we need?
The incidents were a result of mobs irrational behavior towards blasphemy concept and the exploitation of these emotions by some freaks who call themselves ulemas.
Also the facts that missing Pakistanis are still missing and the government is doing nothing for them, Dr. Afia is still having a miserable time in US jails and courts, electricity is still a problem of our country even in the 21st century and ofcourse don’t forget we are a nuclear state, jialas are plundering the nations wealth,Kashmiri Pakistanis are still fighting for their basic right of freedom from India and name the problem and you will find it there in our country.
Our forces are still fighting a foreign war imposed on us by the former dictator (who is still free and enjoying his days in Europe) just for Dollars! And nothing is done to give justice to those who died in the name of this war against humanity and Pakistan.
So what’s the point? Are we dead as a nation or incapable of solving the problems? Is this the country our ancestors struggled for?
I some times get really irritated and in some way frustrated by the present situation but in between this I heard some real good news which brought hope in me.
The days like 31st July 2009, on which the Supreme Court ( the true one restored by the people of Pakistan on 16th March 2009 after a long and hard struggle ) of Pakistan declared the actions of the former dictator and tyrant Pervaiz Musharraf on 3rd November 2007 as unconstitutional and illegal and proved the dictator as a traitor and also declared PCO and PCO judges as illegal making their decisions including NRO as ineffective.
This decision is important for me as I also was and still a big supporter for the movements for independent judicial system in Pakistan as this is the only way we can keep ourselves together.
I remember the last year long march of June 2008 (as I was a part of that) and how people from every corner of the country, every walk of life, every ethnic identity of the country, every sect, every religious presence in the country took part in the movement to save Pakistan. The movement saw it’s ups and downs, saw the killings of innocent people by establishment and dictator supported parties on 12 May 2007 and 9 April 2008 but it kept it’s pace despite all hardships and finally achieved it’s big milestones.
I still say milestones because the path to achieve SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE and COMPLETE JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE is still long and hard but the big positive thing is that we are on the right track, the change is coming and I am really proud of that.
The change has started, I can hear that beat, you can hear it too and those who can’t will see the change as it will come InshaAllah!
Therefore I dedicate this day to the people who supported and participated in the cause of independent
judiciary , the cause of saving Pakistan.
In the end I would like to share a quote of Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah:
“As you know, history shows that in England conditions, some time ago, were much worse than those prevailing in India today. The Roman Catholics and the Protestants persecuted each other. Even now there are some States in existence where there are discriminations made and bars imposed against a particular class. Thank God, we are not starting in those days. We are starting in the days when there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State.”
(Presidential Address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on 11th August, 1947.)
US officials have accepted that Ahmed the elder son of Dr. Afia who was kidnapped by US and Pakistani agencies in August 2003 from Karachi is in US custody, accepted by US officials.
I don’t know in what condition he is in and what law allows the illegal detention of a 10 years old (who was 5 when he was kidnapped)?
Still there is no news of the other two children (one of them was 1 month old when he was kidnapped).
Dr Aafia’s court appearance raises questions–>A shame for American democracy,concepts of human rights and a test case for American judicial system
United4Justice:Dr Aafia’s case is a real shame for American democracy, concepts of human rights and civil liberty and a real test case for American judicial system.
It’s a real shameful aspect of American society that the US media(influenced by zionists and neo-cons) is portraying a real false image of innocent Dr. Aafia.
No matter what the charges (even I say right or wrong), the treatment with a lady and a mother of 3 children (Allah knows where the 2 children are, whether alive or become a part of a long list of innocent people who lost their lives and stature of human beings in the war against humanity (which US calls terrorism)).
Elizabeth Fink, the lawyer of Dr. Aafia rightly said to the media, “Of course they found all this stuff on her. It was planted on her…. She is the ultimate victim of the American dark side.”
Dr Aafia’s court appearance raises questions(Daily Times)
* Amnesty International calls US govt’s account of Aafia attacking officials ‘extraordinary’
* Security official says federal prosecutors concerned that Dr Aafia’s case is being oversold as coup against terrorism
LAHORE: The United States military has rejected claims that Pakistani doctor Aafia Siddiqui, who has been missing for the past five years, was being illegally detained and tortured, a report in the Christian Science Monitor said on Friday.
The report said, Siddiqui appeared before a US court in Brooklyn, New York, last week on charges of attempting to murder American servicemen in an Afghanistan shooting incident.
But her first court appearance has raised disturbing questions about her treatment and the conduct of the war on terror, with lawyers claiming she was secretly arrested five years ago, tortured by Afghan and US officials, and framed for crimes she did not commit.
The charges are the latest wrinkle in a case that has pitted the governments of the US, Afghanistan, and Pakistan against Siddiqui’s family and lawyers as well as international human rights groups.
Agence France-Presse reports that the US military has rejected claims that Siddiqui was being held in military detention during the five years she was missing, the report said.
“She has never been held in US military custody,” spokeswoman Lieutenant Colonel Rumi Nielson-Green told AFP.
Extraordinary: But outside observers have begun to doubt the credibility of the US military’s claims.
Sam Zarifi, Asia-Pacific director for Amnesty International, called the government’s account “extraordinary” in an interview with National Public Radio (NPR).
“It seems extraordinary to imagine that four US agents who’d gone to pick her up, two military, two FBI, along with at least two Afghan translators, were somehow surprised by this woman, who overpowered them, grabbed a gun, flipped the safety, fired off a couple of shots, and then could only be subdued by shots to the torso,” said [Zarifi].
“If the story suggested by the US government is accurate, it paints a very unflattering picture of the competence of forces who are literally on the frontlines of the ‘war on terror’,” he said. “If the US story is not true, then we’re looking at a serious breach of US and international law when a prisoner in custody is shot.”
Coup: A law enforcement official who didn’t want to be named said federal prosecutors in Manhattan were concerned that the case against Siddiqui was being oversold as a coup against terrorism.
“It’s not clear it was even a target list,” the official said.
Siddiqui’s legal team paints a very different picture of what has happened to their client. They say she has been set up by the government, with one of her lawyers, Elizabeth Fink, telling the Associated Press, “Of course they found all this stuff on her. It was planted on her…. She is the ultimate victim of the American dark side.”
At a hearing on Monday, a Manhattan federal magistrate-judge ordered Siddiqui, wounded in the July 18 shooting incident, to get a physical examination within 24 hours. Her next court date was postponed until September. She appeared in court in a wheelchair.
NPR reports that Siddiqui’s lawyers say she was arrested in 2003, shortly after she disappeared in Pakistan with her three children, and was held and tortured in a secret US prison in Afghanistan. Siddiqui has also been identified by her legal team as the mysterious “prisoner 650” at Bagram Air base, a female prisoner in solitary confinement that other prisoners claim to have heard screaming.
Siddiqui’s lawyer, Elaine Whitfield Sharp, told NPR that she suspects her client was set up. She suspects Siddiqui was being held captive, was dropped off at the compound and then was immediately picked up again with “conveniently incriminating evidence”.
Whitfield Sharp says she has proof that Siddiqui was actually being held at Bagram Air Base, in a secret prison in Afghanistan, for the past five years. The FBI, the Justice Department and CIA officials say unequivocally that they haven’t been holding Siddiqui and don’t know where she has been the past five years. daily times monitor