A US court on Tuesday announced the indictment of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui for allegedly attacking US agents who went to interrogate her after she was arrested by local police in Afghanistan.
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui faces
- One count of attempting to kill US nationals abroad;
- One count of attempting to kill US officers and employees;
- One count of armed assault of US officers and employees;
- One count of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence; and
- Three counts of assault of US officers and employees.
If convicted, Siddiqui faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each of the attempted murder and armed assault charges; life in prison on the firearm charge; and eight years in prison on each of the remaining assault charges
Interestingly the U.S. intelligence officials have told Pakistani officials in past weeks that there is coercive evidence in their possession linking the Pakistani scientist to terrorism and Al Qaeda, surprisingly no such charge has been brought against her
Daily Times also adds two possible reasons for this: “one that the prosecution is fairly confident that it can obtain a conviction without charging her with terrorism; and, two, that the prosecution does not want to disclose information that would have had to be made public were Siddiqui to be charged with terrorism.” – truly this is hogwash B.S
It is astonishing, to see the US prosecutors over burden the accused with so much irrelevant charges probably in a ploy to undermine the aspect of her illegal disappearance hopefully to go unnoticed. We must recall that Dr. Aafia was kidnapped and extradited out of Pakistan without a proper hearing or any trial within Pakistan, it has been suspected that she was one of the 600 odd missing persons who were handed over in an exchange program whereby President Musharraf had agreed to quietly hand over all suspected Pakistanis without questioning and in return Pakistan would get bounty from the money allocated to the War on Terrorism.
Let it stand for the record we here in Pakistan are not contesting the fact whether Dr. Aafia, was or was not engaged with the Al-Qaeda network, the onus of providing any and all irrefutable evidence must lie with the Govt of Pakistan and consequentially the US Govt [and not the jack-ass story where she was allegedly caught strolling in Afghanistan with the mastermind plans tucked away in her purse – I’m surprised they could even think of pulling this story off]
I believe that as a first step the Govt of Pakistan must be held accountable for extraditing its own citizens without a proper trial or hearing, then the US Govt must be brought to task. I believe that Dr. Aafia must be returned to Pakistan and stand trial here within our own country, but many fear for her. So as long as the case is fought fairly I hope to have better faith in the US Justice system far more then our local Dogar courts