Aitzaz Ahsan clarifies his reasoning–>Emergency Mailing List

(this is rather long but i do recommend you read it in detail)

Friends and concerned citizens, 

I am making public a few of my communications with Aitzaz Ahsan and his consolidated response to help put things in perspective. There have been a few questions that had been lingering in every one’s minds regarding decisions made at crucial junctions of the movement, Aitzaz’s decision to remain in the PPP – even when the party is the only hindrance in the restoration of the judges -, the end of the Long March and the lawyers silence on the casualties in the War on Terror and I hope this can address all of them. Many other answers are not part of these long emails but will be answered in due time.

 

I have been a part of this struggle only because I rationally believe in it. The decision is an informed, educated one so I have been constantly giving the leadership my input, criticizing whenever I think is appropriate but otherwise supporting them throughout.  The decisions taken by the leadership itself have been very informed and well thought out and I would like to make some of the reasoning public as many people have had raised questions.

 

To start of I am making public my infamous, rather harsh email – that was even picked up in Off the Record by Kashif. It was written after talking to people following the end of the Long March and how things seemed very abysmal.It appeared unlikely that we would ever recover from the aftermath. Many of the things in the email were based on the collective sentiment of our activists who had come for a siege.


However I become extremely occupied with things after the Ambassador incident and Aitzaz later wrote an article for me in the Newsweek to ensure I am not labelled into something I am not.

 

However amidst all of our friendship and all I have probably been his harshest critic because our eventual struggle is ensure those who we support are accountable to us and that I am accountable to the people I mobilize. To my relief I have always gotten a satisfying answer which has kept my faith alive. Very few movements in the world have ever been this democratic and transparent to the extent where an ordinary supporter like myself can raise any number of issues and they are all directly answered by the leadership. This is the glory of this movement where the supporters aren’t brainwashed, jiyay-jiyay chanting, guns-wielding jiyalas but generally educated Pakistanis who understand what they believe in. The reason they are part of it is because of their fanciful idealism and because of their love for their country and understanding that if the judiciary is lost now, it may never be independent again.  Hence most of the supporters become some of the harshest critics as well. As my friend Naeem Sadiq Sahib had once put it, civil disobedience is not our problem in Pakistani Politics; Our problem is civil obedience.

This is why I still strongly support the movement and urge everyone to remain loyal to it. Its 19 months now, since it all began with a simple NO.However throughout all the decisions taken have been with utmost logic and sincerity of intention and have generally been the best ones in retrospection with a lot of hindsight.

 

 

Of course we have a right to dissent, and we must exercise that right. However we do need to keep in mind that our criticism is justified and positive. At the end of the day, our leadership is much more experienced and probably more sincere and committed than us. It’s best to introspect before directing anger at the top – something I have learnt in this time too. I probably still won’t consider Zardari to be a legitimate President – for many reasons – but others have a right to have a different opinion which we must respect.

 

 

Also I am not related to Aitzaz Ahsan. I just came to know him through the movement and was only through this common cause for an independent judiciary that I met him. However by the time and effort taken by his many correspondences with many people it is pretty clear that he is making a sincere effort in ensuring transparency and of making sure everyone’s questions are answered.

 

 

Nonetheless the leadership has inspired may millions of in today’s youth with its constant dedication and committment, its ability to make tough but wise decisions, to have patience and resilience when even its own people turn against it, to withstand offers and offers and more offers of money, power and other perks and most importantly to ensure that movement is transparent and open to scrutiny by anyone. You can verify that from my emails below. I may have been a very strong public supporter but have always done my share of honest criticism.

 

 

I do really mean when I say that Aitzaz Ahsan we are proud of you and the vision that you have given our youth.

 

 

Sincerely,

Samad

(Complete Emails can be seen at: http://www.teeth.com.pk/blog/2008/09/19/3093 )

 

Aitzaz Ahsan’s reply:

 

Dated: September 18th 2008.

 

Samad Khurram

Harvard.

 

My dear Samad,

 

I opened your mail yesterday and was deeply pained by it and by its tenor.

 

Of late there is a veritable campaign being fostered on the net and many mails are targeting the leadership of the Lawyers Movement. There is no doubt that most of the criticism is pointed at me but the beauty of the Movement has been that we have seldom taken any decision except through consensus though I admit to have been, in many ways, the prime  mobiliser. As a result the criticism, to the delight of those who oppose the Movement, is of the entire leadership.

 

There are several issues being raised on blogs and through emails. I will address each briefly in this message because I greatly value your emotion and passion for an independent judiciary in Pakistan. But first the matter that has disturbed you as per your latest mail.

 

1.   My association with the PPP:

 

This is one issue, however, that is personal to me yet it is one that I have shared with my colleagues. There are two aspects of it: the persona of Mr. Zardari and the PPP as a party.

 

i.                     You accuse me of having accepted Zardari as the constitutional president of Pakistan. Whether one likes it or not Zardari has been elected through a democratic process in accordance with the letter of the Constitution. That is undeniable. An even more significant aspect is that within that process the representatives of three smaller provinces have voted for him almost unanimously. Thus there are both the issues of democracy and the federation.

 

In our quest for an independent judiciary we cannot become oblivious to the primacy of the democratic will and the federal compact. In this quest we cannot befuddle either. Pakistan can only be sustained as a democracy and as a federation. Punjabi politicians must accept the democratic choice of the smaller provinces.

 

This is not merely an issue of likes or dislikes. Equally it is not merely about the independence of the judiciary or the legitimacy of the Chief Justice. We do not recognize Dogar as the legitimate CJP. But we cannot ignore the democratic verdict, particularly the resounding ‘voice’ of the three smaller federating units. Hence in my statement I said precisely that: ‘Although Zardari is the constitutionally elected President of Pakistan, there is a defect in the oath that he took. However, it would be unfair not to recognize him as the President after he has obtained the overwhelming majority of the votes of the electoral college expressly provided in the Constitution whose supremacy we seek’.

 

Also when we speak of intra party democracy remember how Hilary Clinton, after having pounded Obama for a year, accepted him as the Party’s candidate when he got the Democratic nomination. She now campaigns for him. We call that democracy. So why when Aitzaz, having raised the issue (of the presidential nomination) in the Party (and outside it) goes with the overwhelming Party majority, is it a betrayal? And note, too, that no one complains that neither PML-N (Justice Siddiqui) nor PML-Q (Mushahid) raised any objection to his candidature when they had the opportunity during formal proceedings before the Election Commission.

 

 

ii.                   The judicial issue remains paramount with me. Even within the PPP I am the loudest voice of dissent on this issue and keep it alive in the Party. Is it not essential that some voices of dissent remain in this Party, which does, after all, enjoy the support of a very large section of Pakistanis at home and abroad? Why must we abdicate and leave the field open for those opposed to CJP Iftikhar? I can assure you that he does not want me to leave the PPP. On the contrary, (and believe me, or check with others close to him) he wants me to remain in the Party as do I. And yet I openly join issue with the Party on the judges’ matter. I contest the position and logic of its leaders openly and without mincing any words.

 

The apparent slow-down in the movement is attributed to my connection with the PPP. Thrice I have volunteered to place the leadership of the Movement in other hands while continuing to work for it as an ordinary comrade. On each occasion (July 19 in the All Pakistan Representative Lawyers Conference in Lahore, August 23 in the meeting of the National Co-ordination Council in Islamabad, and September 4 in the meeting of the Steering Committee of the NCC in Lahore), all 300 representatives of all the Bars by a resounding and unanimous acclaim reposed confidence in my leadership.

 

I have led the lawyers from the front. You have found me in the thick of the lathi charge, being hit by stones hurled by police, being arrested and jailed, writing poetry from prison cells, rousing bazaars during the Black Flag Week, clambering upon the Edhi ambulance to save the Movement as well as Sher Afgan from sure fire lynching, leading the Long March in the scorching summer heat, touring the country, driving the Chief Justice, pleading his case before the Supreme Court, and engaging media persons as well as opponents in the debate and argument. Highlighting the fact that the martyred leader of the party Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto declared Chief Justice Chaudhry as the Chief Justice of Pakistan and its Co-Chairperson thrice signed agreements to restore him as such, a promise that must be kept it is my effort, I seek from within the Party, that it honours these solemn declarations. And when I have been imprisoned my wife had taken up the banner and led rallies and protests. All this while I have obtained no office from the PPP (twice even declining to become its MNA in solidarity with the Movement).

 

None who chooses to throw stones at me, and there are a vast number, stops to reflect upon the fact that all the decisions he/she chooses to nail me for were made after deliberation and by consensus. If I was indeed motivated by my association with the PPP in not going for a dharna after the Long March (on which more later), what persuaded men of such integrity as Muneer Malik, Ali Kurd, Tariq Mahmood, and all the four provincial Presidents: Anvar Kamal, Latif Afridi, Rashid Rizvi and Baz Kakar (all strongly or mildly anti-PPP) to expressly state in their own speeches at that rally that there would be no dharna that night? Certainly not my association with the PPP.

 

In fact I personally had concluded my speech (you will recall) by saying that all those who wanted to do a dharna were free to do so if they wished! Why did then only a dozen or so volunteer?

 

I have no doubt been prohibiting some slogans being raised against the PPP leadership. It is the slogan I consistently prohibited against Musharraf also, being of the variety liking him to a particular animal or questioning his parentage. Yes I have pleaded with lawyers to remain dignified and ‘shaista lab’. I believe that emotions do not have to be expressed in expletives to be effective. The contrary has more effect.

 

The PPP is a major element in the politics of Pakistan. You may or may not agree, it commands the support and loyalty of millions of Pakistanis most of whom are perfectly likeable, family-oriented, peaceable and honest people committed to the political process. It is also a mainstream party with effective and country-wide cadres and organization. Many PPP lawyers continue to vigorously support the Movement. The Islamabad Bar President belongs to the Party as does the Secretary of the Rawalpindi Bar. These two Bars have been the front edge of the Movement being proximate to Parliament and the Supreme Court. Most district and taluqa Presidents of Bars in Sindh belong to the PPP and were in the forefront of the nation-wide dharnas. The shaheed Imdad Awan was a PPP stalwart, a PPP Senator, who died in harness. He used to be deeply disturbed when his Party was condemned by protesters. Must we lose all of them, and even when they support us on this one vital issue?

 

The Lawyers’ Movement is a plural movement comprising of a rich diversity of opinions and persuasions. It is not easy to lead such a collective, and to do so for 18 months, keeping them all together. It is even more difficult to keep within the movement cadres and members of a Party whose leadership turns away from it. Yes, there are some who want to take advantage of this turning away for their own political benefit. But it would splinter the Movement as many of its opponents want. This has been, and remains a delicate task not to be addressed by emotion alone. The collective wisdom of the leadership of the Movement is a better guide to follow than the emotion of some of the more passionate ones who may be reckless about the split in the ranks of the movement (not just in the leadership).

 

As to myself, I have a long association with the PPP and its supporters, cadres and office-bearers. I have been with them in street demonstrations over the past four decades, been beaten by the police and been in jails and lock-ups with them. There is a bonding of a nature so pure and I have no intention of giving up that association.

 

This should suffice to address your current disappointment with me, but I take this opportunity of posting you with some other issues as you are a well keyed-in young man with many a critic and supporter within the reach of your net.

 

 

2.   The pace of the Movement:

 

You must understand the nature of political and social movements. They cannot be sustained at the same high pace all the time. They cannot be run in top gear all through. Nor can they continue the same activity at varying speeds all the time.

 

If the only measure of success is the actual physical reinstatement of Chief Justice Chaudhry, then we have failed, at least to this point in time. But consider some of the successes of the Movement:

 

·        The July 20, 2007 unanimous verdict of the Supreme Court.

·        The return of the exiled leaders on the 18th October and 25th November.

·        The 27th November shedding of the uniform.

·        The 18th February resounding defeat of the dictator at the polls.

·        Payment of all back dues to deposed judges immediately after the Long March.

·        Even more significantly, there were three outright victories, and (prima facie) final and successful conclusions of the struggle. From any perspective whatsoever these should have been a triumphant completion, thrice over, of the last lap. This is the number of times the Movement impelled the leaders of the ruling coalition to actually and publicly sign formal documents and to make public declarations of their solemn commitments to restore all judges in accordance with the Murree Declaration. Would you not categorise that as a triumph each time? Should more have been required of the Lawyers?

 

We cannot, after all, carry the Chief Justice and judges on our shoulders, smash plate glass and padlocked doors, and break into court-rooms and seat the judges in the chairs they ought to be occupying. Telecast live by the channels across the globe, such mayhem will be the end of the Movement as well the judges. There is a dignity in the Lawyers’ Movement which is all about avoiding scenes like the Sher Afgan incident in Lahore on April 8. That dignity has won us global respect and acclaim. We have to remain within the bounds of what is non-violently possible and doable though some will shout: we need to give up non-violence! Fair enough: come out yourself and take it up as a course of action. The present leadership and vast body of lawyers will not resort to such actions howsoever much we may be chided with pusillanimity in this behalf.

 

Note also that regardless of whomsoever has reaped its benefit, the Lawyers Movement remains the only sustained movement in this country that has not had the support (in fact, it has been actively opposed) by the Army, the Intelligence Agencies and the United States. That is a feather in its cap.

 

When, to every one’s surprise, the signed declarations were not acted upon last month I immediately called a nation-wide two-hour dharna on the 28th of August. That strategy was a resounding success. Though the time of dharna was limited, the spread and span was wide, thus jamming at once all the traffic in the entire country. What more can a mere 80,000 lawyers (of which at least half have always been non-practising or indifferent) and brave activists of civil society do given their small numbers? So I gave a call for what we could do with small numbers peppered across the land.

 

But, yes, I confess the Chief Justice has not been reinstated despite the signatures, the public promises, the Long March and dharnas. Meantime many of his colleagues broke ranks and took fresh oath. What do you do when people who, undoubtedly have been under pressure, decide to break rank? Hum nay tou in ko dhoop bhi nahin lagnay di. We braved the sun, the baton, the gas, the bullet and the prison cells. But they gave up. It affects the morale of the rank and file. I hope they will remain conscious of the cross on their shoulders and be good judges in the days ahead.

 

The Movement has also slowed down on account of Ramzan. That is why we did the nation-wide dharnas before its advent. Immediately after it we will be pre-occupied with Kurd’s election to my post. With a political government in place, it will not be a walk-over and the campaign will demand all our energies and time.

 

But the lawyers and civil society must not only be remembered for heating up the streets. Let us be realistic. We need at least one of the big parties with us. But both are now engaged in power-politics and consolidation of their governments in the Centre and the Punjab.

 

However, to keep the spotlight on the issue I have plans for the CJP’s visit to Europe and North America. For that we need the support of the community abroad.  From November 4 to 14 he will travel through Belgium, Holland, Germany, France and the UK. November 15 he travels to NY to receive the NY Bar’s Honorary Life Membership. On November 19 he receives the Harvard Law School’s Medal of Freedom previously awarded only to Thurogood Marshall and Nelsen Mandela.  (You are aware how Ali, my son, has co-coordinated the grant of both honours). These events will spotlight the underlying issue of the independent judges. What a shame it will appear when the US Bars and academia honour a Chief Justice we have ousted? We need you and your friends to mobilize people to accompany the CJP in long processions of cars in his travels around the US as other destinations will also be indicated soon.

 

I would also like him to attend the Lawasia Conference in Malaysia end October. He should be seen striding across the world with confidence and the gait of the constitutional Chief Justice of Pakistan. That will be another phase of the Movement, albeit with fewer participating lawyers from Pakistan.

 

So the Lawyers’ Movement is not all about the street alone. It is about an issue that has been agitated vigorously on the street and will be done again when the moment is ripe. To ripen it we may have to broaden our platform to link the issues of popular weal such as inflation, crime, discrimination, with that of the restoration of the Chief Justice. People miss his suo moto energies.  But we are neither a political party now, nor can we aspire to become one in the future (there is such a rich diversity of views and persuasions amongst the community of lawyers). That can be stated to be our weakness. But it is real. 

 

3.      The controversy about the Long March dharna.

 

In my estimation the Long March (LM) was a huge success. It spanned the country. It woke up the people. It demonstrated that the people of every nook and corner, or every hamlet, village and town of Pakistan urgently wanted the reinstatement of the CJP and judges. It mobilized an entire nation. Every habitat that the ‘Marchers’ drove through was thronged with the locals showering rose petals, offering water bottles and food items. There were men, women and children of all ages, regions, ethnicities, linguistic groups and religious persuasions. Students, labour unions, lumpen labour, farmers, white collar professionals, even senior executives joined the milling crowds with pride and enthusiasm. The nation was energized.

 

Though the proposal for the Long March was mine, the decision was collectively taken by the All Pakistan Representative Lawyers’ Conference in Lahore on May 17. More than 300 Bar Presidents and office bearers from all over the country attended. There was indeed some talk at the Conference of the LM culminating in a dharna, but the Conference did not adopt the proposal. The decision was the LM would disperse after the concluding speech.

 

There were the hard-liners. They were not in a majority, but they were certainly more vociferous. I tried to plead with them at all stages to remain within the ambit of the decision. So we had to put our heads together again during the LM. Muneer, Kurd, Afridi, Tariq, Anvar Kamal, Baz Kakar, Rashid Rizvi, and I were all one that the dharna was impossible given the weather. It was June 14. You should remember the next day’s blazing sun. Incidentally when we rose from the two-hour dharna in the sun on August 28, countless lawyers thanked me for saving them a 14 hour sun blazer on the bare and boundless asphalt of the Islamabad Parade Ground at a much hotter time of the year, mid-June! Hamid suggested a 24 hour dharna but there was no point. The full day’s heat the next day was before us. And getting up after 24 hours we would have still been pestered by the media: have the judges been restored that you are leaving the venue? And there was no way that we were going to storm any building. I have already described to you what might have happened in such an eventuality.

 

We had not gone there to invite another military intervention. Certainly not. We had not gone there for a blood bath. Let that be clear. If the dharna had not petered out in the blazing sun, an assault would have resulted in discredit and, perhaps, a blood bath. What we wanted to do, to start with, in the LM we achieved. We wanted to force the world to notice the agitation within the nation as a whole on the judges’ issue. We were consciously following the precedent of Martin Luther King, not of any militant insurgency.

 

True there were shouts for a dharna in the front end of the crowd and just beneath the stage. These started after the speech of Mian Nawaz Sharif (who had himself contributed much of the crowd) that there be no dharna. Earlier both Qazi Hussain Ahmed and Mr Imran Khan in their speeches had exhorted the crowd to stage a dharna and left. Now when MNS suggested the contrary, these front benchers became anxious and began to shout “abhi nahin toa kabhi nahin”. They even aimed plastic water bottles full of water at us on the stage. Some tried to storm Parliament behind the stage. These activities were covered by the media.

 

But should we have been cowed down by this emotion? Jalib said:

 

           Hajoom dekh kay rasta nahin badaltay hum….

 

That is what leadership means. The leaders have often to take seemingly unpopular decisions. So we had to be firm in our resolve. I had invited families, women and children to the final rally. I had promised that it would be peaceful and would end in peace. Men on motorbikes had brought wives, mothers and children with them. It was a large and festive crowd. They had come to make a point and they knew they were making it. More was not required of them or any one else.

 

The decision not to go for a dharna was a collective decision. Is one allowed to wonder why I am, alone, being targeted by those (most of whom were not even there), who think that the dharna would have made the government capitulate. I nevertheless have shoulders broad enough to take the criticism on myself alone because I think what we did was right.

 

I think those, like you, who were themselves there and prepared for the dharna, have a right to be critical. You wrote me a very strongly worded mail. You were disappointed even then, though I think I was able to convince you of the merits of the conclusion of the LM. Those, however, who never came there are aiming the most vicious stones. And there are far more of the latter category than of the first pelting projectiles of hate and venom. That remains their privilege.

 

4.   The war in FATA:

 

I promised you a word about my own view on this war. Any support to the Government in its actions in this military campaign should again not be taken as capitulation on national interest or on the judges’ issue. To my mind:

 

·        We must not condone US intrusions into our airspace. That is unacceptable.

·        The Americans have messed up this region of ours with our rulers blindly complying with all US requirements.

·        Innocent Pakistanis are dying in these cross-border incidents and this is called ‘colateral damage’.

·        We cannot also, and at the same time, support elements that slit peoples’ throats, program kids to become human bombs, stone men and women, lob bombs upon schools forcibly preventing the female education, or deny polio drops to infants.

·        We believe that the most effective weapon in a war has nothing to do with post-modern technology. It is a friendly local population that has enforceable rights.

·        Rights cannot be enforced without an independent judiciary.

·        The Militants blow up hospitals, schools and roads but promise only some rough and ready justice. That is all. That is what draws some people to them.

·        So we have to ensure that our people do not lose hope of justice within the system.

·        Hence we come back to the point of the independent judiciary and independent judges.

·        But we are in veritable pincer and must not, in emotion, lose sight of the demerits of either side.

 

We must nevertheless recognize that this war is against a mindset that threatens our Pakistani way of life, the culture of the Indus Muslims: a tolerant, liberal, democratic, plural Islam. The average Pakistani is anything but an extremist. So in this fight we may again be supporting Zardari and the Army without prejudice to our position on the Chief Justice and the Judges.

 

Finally, the Lawyers’ Movement has not been easy to lead. Unity has had to constantly be created, and recreated, out of a natural and wide diversity, often antagonism, of views and backgrounds. Different party policies and affiliations have always had to be balanced. Individual sensitivities predilections have had to be accommodated even when others have been hostile to these. But we have marched forth. We will continue to do so though the shape and manner of the forward progress may vary.

 

This, however, is a crucial time. It is time to stand together and to be patient with mistakes, past or future. Kurd’s election bid calls for a closing of the ranks. Much of the viscious criticism is grist for the mills of the opposition. We have to slow down the pace to strive for a broader, winning consensus amongst the limited electorate comprising of senior lawyers registered with the Supreme Court. While the support of the younger advocates is unreserved, the SCBA members who mainly comprise the more senior lawyers,  are less strident and adventurous. But they are the electorate. Their support is crucial to the Movement, and their pace slower. We may, of necessity, have to lower the decibel level. And now with a political government opposed to us the election will be a challenge. But we must face it with solidarity.

 

With fond regards,

 

 

Aitzaz.

Advertisements

Dr. Afia Updates–>bullet wound,kidney removed(AHRC)

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received updated information that due to a bullet wound and removal of one kidney, Dr. Afia Siddiqui health is in a serious condition, but no medical assistance has been provided to her whilst she has been in American custody in New York.Read from AHRC

(Maham has written a really touchy poem for the prisoners who are detained illegally by America, we are publishing it with her comments on the post.)

i ask all the human rights commission out there that where were they for the past five years whrn poor doctor Afia was bein tortured by the brutal American forces and this is not the plight of doctor Afia alone but of the countless people suffering in the Guantanamo bay, Abu gharib prison and the phantom prisons, those poor people die suffering the atrocities and don’t even get the free trial after their deaths. Shame on all of us who just sit back in the comfort of our homes and mourn whats going on around us and the next moment get busy totally forgetting what we were mourning about some time back.
I hope with all my heart that doctor Afia Siddiqa and her likes get justice and the onces responsible for their agonies suffer the worst of sufferings.
The following poem is for all the American hostages:

I am a shattered soul
With Teary eyes
On an endless road
I was abducted
To humility I was subjected
Quietly I bore all the scorn
One or two times
Locked up in my 4inch cell
I may have cried
But my hopes would never be gone
I can bear more doggy bites
I can sleep on the thorns
But my hopes would never be gone
Though the dreams are broken
The wounds are still sore
I don’t feel pain
I don’t dread bleeding
I detest no beating
I would keep going
Tonight the road is still misty
The faces confused
The visions blurred
The lips slurred
If this is the dusk
I would wait for the dawn
My hopes would never be gone

Protest in Karachi/Lahore for Dr. Afia Siddiqi on Saturday


Karachi:
The Peoples Resistance and numerous concerned members of the Civil Society in Karachi would like to invite YOU, the people of Pakistan to join them in a peaceful protest to appeal for the release Dr. Afia Siddiqui, who was kidnapped from Karachi in 2003 and has since been detained without charge in a US Military jail in Afghanistan. We appeal for speedy justice and her immediate return to Pakistan along with her three innocent children.

When: Saturday 9th August 2008
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Karachi Press Club

ACTION ALERT:

* Bring your family, friends and colleagues for this noble cause,
* Bring placards, flags, posters simply appealing for Justice for Dr. Afia Siddiqui and her children.
* Spread the word far and wide so that more people can participate in this noble and humanitarian effort.
* Use your influence on the media to spread this message of support for Dr. Afia

Courtesy
Peoples Resistance

Lahore:Please participate in the protest by Fastrising for a noble cause.

Where: Lahore Press Club
When: 6 PM, Saturday August 9, 2008
Why: Protest against the kidnapping and illegal detention of Dr. Afia Siddiqui

——————————————————————–

A comment we received on the issue by a concerned brother :

This is a series of harm done by US Army, in the name of war on terror, on innocent Muslims. Another similar case of complete brutality was the rape of 14 yr old girl in Mahmudiyah, Iraq, were Private Green was found to be the main culprit. What happened later to him, remains a mystery.

No justice was done to that forgotten girl, and nobody, no shameless American media or civil rights leader ever bothered to raise those questions again.

It’s a duty on Muslims of the world to unite on this incident and make a unified demand for justice on Afia Siddiqui. Bring those who are responsible for destroying the life of Afia Siddiqui and her 3 innocent children.

So being a Muslim and brother to sister Afia, I demand the following:

1. Pakistan Army should stop cooperating with (and taking military aid from) any and all military, intelligence and any other security agencies based, sponsored or funded by USA.
2. A trial has already begun in US courts alleging her that she helped terrorists. A counter trial should be initiated by Muslims. Expert and only expert lawyers from around the US, especially Muslims lawyers, should hired for this case and funding can be guaranteed by asking zakat and khairat donations throughout the world, through Muslim websites and Media channels.
3. Purpose of the trial – to expose and bring to justice the persons & departments in US Govt. involved in :
a. Authorizing kidnapping of Afia Siddiqui,
b. People involved in detaining her in Pakistan, Afghanistan and USA and exposing all the locations and places she has been taken to.
c. Inform and find her children – where they were during all this time, what traumas they have faced
d. Persons, who authorized and implemented any kind of torture on her children and who were responsible for detaining them
e. Bring to justice any military official involved in physically torturing Afia Siddiqui while she was kept in US, Pakistani & Afghani custody.
f. Expose all the plastic surgery of Afia Siddiqui, either it was dental facial or any kind of cosmetic treatment or any other kind of treatment performed on Afia Siddiqui between the dates of March 30, 2003 upto her 11th August 2008.
g. Expose the name of the persons involved in master minding and authorizing the plastic surgery for obstruction of justice. Those

3. If Muslims, didn’t stop this growing act of terror against innocent Muslims, the world of aggressors will continue to drag your daughters, wife and sisters in their den, one by one. So you must unite and must ACT NOW!

May Allah give us the wisdom to fight back these aggressors and to expose their true face to our sons & daughters who are so much impressed by these barbaric people.

(Saleh al Qatani)

False allegations by US government on DR. Afia Siddqi(prisoner 650)

Dr. Afia is fianlly being prosecuted in Newyork court , charged with the allegations of attacking a US officer and links with Al-Qaida Afia who was in real bad condition during the proceedings denied all the allegations.

The falsehood can be understood by fbi claim that she was arrested with her elder son from Ghazni in Afganistan whereas media reports at that time in 2003 and proofs are there that she was arrested from Karachi near a petrol pump at NIPA and leave aside the allegations that bomb making information was recovered from her bag .

Above all where were those charges during the last 5 years when she was badly tortured,raped and even today no one knows where her 3 children are (dead or alive).

We appeal to the civil society of the world and human rights organizations especially in USA to raise voice on the issue and support an innocent women who has already suffered alot for nothing and show that humanity as a whole is not unjust and cruel.

FBI Admits Dr Afia in US custody

According to media reports FBI has accepted that Dr. Afia is in US custody and also there are reports that her family is receiving threats from the agencies to step back from the issue but we hope that Dr. Afia’s family will not quit her support and their efforts to give her justice because they are on the right side and inshaAllah they will get justice.

Still not much is clear about the three missing children (also kidnapped by FBI and Pakistani agencies) which is a real issue of concern because no law allows the abduction of one month old or four year old children under any circumstances.

We are with you Dr. Afia and we appeal all the people who are the believers of human rights and justice to support the cause(in any manner they can) to give her justice. 

 

Woman scientist alive, in US custody(The News)

By Rahimullah Yusufzai

WASHINGTON: Five years after her disappearance, an MIT-trained Pakistani neuroscientist, accused of belonging to an al-Qaeda cell based in Boston, is alive and in custody in Afghanistan, her family attorney said. “It has been confirmed by the FBI that Aafia Siddiqi is alive,” said Elaine Whitfield Sharp, a lawyer for Siddiqi’s family, who said she spoke to an FBI official on Thursday. “She is injured but alive, and she is in Afghanistan.”

The news sheds some light on one of the most intriguing local mysteries in the war on terrorism. Siddiqi, who lived in Roxbury and studied at Brandeis University as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), disappeared with her three children while visiting her parents in Karachi in March 2003, around the same time the FBI announced that it wanted to question her.

For five years, the US and Pakistani authorities have denied knowing her whereabouts. But human rights groups and Siddiqi’s relatives have long suspected that she had been captured in Karachi and secretly taken into custody.

If Siddiqi was arrested in Pakistan and turned over to the United States, it would highlight a crucial instance of intelligence cooperation between the two countries during a historic low point in their relations.

Earlier this week, US officials accused ISI of actively cooperating with tribal, pro-Taliban militants engaged in killing US troops in Afghanistan. In the White House meeting, President Bush confronted Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani with the intercepted phone calls between ISI and the militants.

Marvin Weinbaum, a Pakistan specialist at the Middle East Institute, said Pakistan has a history of reacting to pressure from the United States by publicly revealing that it had captured and turned over high-value terrorism suspects. Usually, such cooperation is kept as secret because of anti-American sentiments.

“But when it suits their purpose to advertise that they are cooperative with the US intelligence, all too often, someone of high profile is revealed to have been captured and turned over,” he said.

On Thursday, an FBI official visited Siddiqi’s brother in Houston to deliver the news that she was alive and in custody, Sharp said, but the visit raised as many questions as it answered. The FBI officials would not say who was holding her or reveal the fate of her three young, American-born children.

“If she is in US custody, they want to know where she is,” Sharp said. “Who has got her? And does she need medical care?” The FBI and the Justice Department declined to comment. Late last week, Siddiqi’s photo still appeared on the FBI’s list of people wanted for questioning.

Military documents declassified in recent years suggest that Siddiqi is suspected of having ties to several key terrorism suspects being held at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre. She is believed to have links to Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, alleged mastermind of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and allegedly arranged travel documents for another suspected terrorist. Papers in Guantanamo Bay also indicate that she married Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, an alleged al-Qaeda facilitator, who intended to blow up gas stations or poison water reservoirs in the United States.

The three men were among 14 high-value suspects brought to Guantanamo Bay in 2006 after years of secret detention in CIA prisons in eastern Europe. At the time, Bush said no suspects remained in so-called black sites, but human rights groups contradicted him, saying there were still suspects being held incommunicado at the US facilities such as the Bagram airbase detention centre in Afghanistan.

In a 2006 report, the Amnesty International listed Siddiqi as among a number of disappeared suspects in the war on terrorism. In recent weeks, Pakistani newspapers reported that a lawyer, Javed Iqbal Jaffery, had petitioned a Pakistani court for Siddiqi’s release and vowed to bring her detention to the UN human rights commissioner.

According to the reports, Jaffrey alleged that Siddiqi was jailed in Kabul after being held in Bagram; a British journalist reached a similar conclusion, based on interviews with prisoners released from Bagram.

Sharp said she believes those reports increased pressure on the US and Pakistani authorities to divulge more information. “I do not believe that they just found Aafia,” Sharp said. “I believe that she was there all along.”

A Letter to U.S ambassador in UK –> Insaf Forum

Mr Robert Holmes Tuttle,
I tried to have a word with you over the telephone on 9th July but found out that its not possible to do so and today I am writing you instead. I tried to explain your members of staff at the embassy, what my query was, but none of them had an answer for me. So I would like to request you to help me out if possible.
Earlier this month, Yvonne Ridley one of the well known journalists of England along with Imran Khan Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf held a press conference in Pakistan, in which Yvonne Ridley claims that a Pakistani woman is detained along with men in Bagram Jail (controlled by US army) without any charges from several years and is being tortured badly. No one know who she is but the people those who have been there, state that they have heard her screaming and asking for helping.
So would you be able to confirm that Ms Ridley is making true claims against US Military. If that is the reality, with all due respect I would like to ask you that do you treat American women in the same way in States? Do you detain them without charges for as long as you like? Do you torture them in the same way?
Mr Tuttle, I believe it is violation of human rights and I hope that you would agree with me. So, may I ask you that could you please bring out details of prisoner 650 in Bagram jail so that we all know who she is and what wrong has she done. If she has committed a crime she should be allowed for trial in the court(as every human being on the face of earth is born with this right).
My image about American Government would be even better if you could help out with this prisoner 650 because I believe that U.S stands upright for human rights in every part of the world and likes to help those who are ignored.
None of the staff member knew what I was talking about when I called, so I would like to send you a video link along which can make my point even clearer.
Yvonne Ridley’s press conference video link http://www.insaf.pk/Forum/tabid/53/forumid/12/tpage/1/view/topic/postid/31164/Default.aspx#31164
I am adding my details below and would like an answer from you, either way in writing or via e-mails.

Its already three weeks now and I never Received any answer from him.

Could you please come up with any suggestion, that how can we raise this Dr. Afia’s Case.
That will be great. Because U.S Ambassader doesn’t seem very much bothered about answering my letter.

source:http://www.insaf.pk/Forum/tabid/53/forumid/9/tpage/1/view/topic/postid/32490/Default.aspx#32490

Karachi bombings–>an attempt to sabotage peace process.

Recent act of terrorism in Karachi in which a series of 7 bomb blasts resulted in the killings of 2 persons and at least 40 injuries seems to be a part of various attempts by the enemies of peace (traitors and foreign enemies) in an attempt to destabilize Pakistan.
The targets to be achieved from the bombings:
1) Start pakhtoon-muhajis ethnic riots.
(For that a confusion will be created that it was targeted against ANP, when it comes to Karachi ANP has tensions with MQM so the partial blame will go on MQM and a chance of Pukhtoon-Muhajir riots).
2) Damage the peace talks between ANP and Taliban.
(Thats another interesting dimension some enemies of PEACE are trying to give to these bombings so as to sabotage the peace talks).
My appeal to the nation is to show some sense, keep their brains working and not let the enemies achieve their evil agenda and for the govt. I must say “Must get out from this war against Pakistan, Islam and in general humanity and peace which is so called war against terrorism”.