I’m sharing with our readers, the actual court order issued by the District Court in the case US Government vs Aafia Siddiqui – if one might notice, there is no reference regarding the abduction of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui from Pakistan in collaboration of General Pervaiz Musharraf and the US Governmental Agencies, the case immediately jumps to her alleged arrest in August 2008 and the alleged tussle she had with the federal officers who had her in for questioning.
Guest Blog by Talkhaba
“The American court acquits Dr Aafia Siddiqui” The ticker blinks on TV screens is followed by the screen flashes “Breaking News; The US court releases Afia Siddiqui” “The justice has been made by the exemplary American judicial system.”
The News anchors inform us that Pakistani Ambassador to the US Mr. Hussain Haqqani will hold a press conference shortly. At the same time, the tickers read “Quid-e-Tehreek Altaf Hussain has praised Americans for making justice and freeing the daughter of Nation” The news anchors announce that MQM chief has made a phone call to Aafia’s mother which is to telecasted on TV channels live. The audience listens to Altaf Hussain. He is followed by messages from President of Pakistan, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, Interior Minister, Mr Rehman Malik, chief of Pakistan Muslims league (N) Mr. Mian Nawaz Shareef, Secretary General Pakistan Muslim League (Q) Syed Mushahid Hussain. Besides, shorts statements of different national leaders are displayed at TV screens, all congratulating Aafia’s family and praising US judicial system.
I can feel Awab’s pain as someone who did follow this case so closely, and I do not mistake his patience now as anything due to lack of sensitivity. Contrary, I admire him for that.
Perhaps it would help to recap the points that were elaborated in the report ‘Don’t Blame the Victim‘ released from this forum in late 2008.
The basic stance was that in this case, a victim had been turned into the accused. That is an old tactic of patriarchy. In this case, there was not one allegations but four, and justice required that they should be addressed in the order in which they had appeared: Continue Reading
A US court has found Dr. Aafia Siddiqui guilty of attempting to murder US agents while she was detained for questioning in Afghanistan in 2008. She is allegedly have picked up an army rifle and shot at the US agents, none of the Americans was injured but Aafia Siddiqui also known as Prisoner 650, was shot in the stomach.
She was arrested by Afghan police in July 2008 on suspicion of carrying chemicals and notes referring to “mass-casualty attacks” in New York. A jury in Manhattan found Siddiqui guilty of attempted murder, of armed assault, using and carrying a firearm. She faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
It must be remembered that in 2005 the then President of Pakistan, General Pervaiz Musharraf had bartered a deal with the Americans and may have actually handed over Aafia to the American CIA as she was deemed to have been declared a suspected terrorist, since then she has been missing until an outcry by Yvone Ridley who spotted a certain Prisoner 650 illegally being detained in Afghanistan, it is probably due to this media rukus that the Americans then had to create an elaborate story, which suddenly lead to this “assault on American soldiers and her getting a bullet in the stomach”
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is on trial this last week in New York on charges of her attempting to kill an FBI officer in Afghanistan. It interesting to note that none of the assault charges are seemingly holding up against her, the M-4 rifle which she allegedly used to fire four shots at the officers has not produced a single finger print of her, while other items presented as evidence in are trial are also not standing up in court. What one must remember that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui was abducted from Karachi and held in some US custody from 2003 for allegedly supporting terrorism, only to re-emerge as a Prisoner 650 charged with assaulting FBI officers in 2008, her trial is not about her terrorism but instead an assault charge made against her in 2008.
Sounds like someone in Pakistan must answer the tough question as to why they felt the need to hand over her and many like her over to the US without a proper investigation and trial ensuring that they were actually guilty of the alleged crime or terrorist activity. Musharraf or for that matter should not have bartered with her life to pick up and let the Americans smuggle her out of Pakistan merely on the basis of a hunch?
A good summary of the progress of the trial can be heard in this short 10-minute interview of Tina Foster, Executive Director of International Justice Network who has been monitoring Dr. Aafia Siddiqi trial in New York on Letters to Washington telecasted on KPFA Washington Radio
Mubashir Lucman in his show Point Blank on Express News which was aired yesterday on the evening of 29th December presents some sweeping evidences of the role of American forces in harassing Pakistani citizens, specifically intimidation and interrogation of Dr Mehvish Baig in Karachi – a naturalized Pakistani American who has been trying to give up her US citizenship.
Dr. Mehvish Baig shares her experience as a number of American forces enter into her house and harass her and her kids with dire circumstances. She resides in Naval Complex Karachi and her brother is a serving Naval officer. The first 12 minutes are relevant with the interview of Dr. Mehvish.
Credit About Aafia Blog
Looking at how this trial has been conducted so far, there is very little hope that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui will be released even on December 17.
To begin with, she was remanded on an accusation which wouldn’t have been taken seriously by any self-respecting court of law. That whole story of her picking up an M4 rifle and firing two rounds at random was illogical. Yet, it was theonly charge brought against her. On such an implausible charge she was remanded without bail!
A pattern has become obvious by now: whatever could be the farthest from justice and common sense has been happening at every turn. Since it is rational and would make sense that having been announced mentally unfit a month ago, Aafia should be released on December 17, therefore it should be the least expected.
Instead, anything “unexpected” can happen – any violation of decency, justice and common sense (after all, this is a case regarding which the US envoy to Pakistan didn’t flinch from making a very misleading public statement)!
Follow the entire Choronolgy of events
I share with you a detailed report published on the People’s Resistance mailing list analyzing the abduction of Dr. Aafia Siddqui and her ongoing trial in the US Courts. Please take time to read the report and if you agree with the contents then it would be a great help if you can join in the effort to spread the word far and wide to get more support for her.
On March 30, 2003, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui disappeared from Karachi along with her three minor children. Media reported that she had been taken by the US authorities with compliance of Pakistani authorities since the FBI had wanted to seek some information from her. In the face of general outcry, the US and Pakistani authorities quickly backtracked but then a year later Pakistani Foreign Office admitted publicly that Aafia had been handed over to the US.1
She became a concern for human rights organizations including Amnesty International who kept the case alive for five years. On July 6, 2008, political party Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf presented a British journalist in Islamabad who said there was reason to believe that Aafia was the “Prisoner 650” at Bagram (Afghanistan) and had undergone brutal rape and torture for five years. Outcry reaches a high water mark and urgent appeals were sent by Asian Human Rights Commission on July 22, to President George Bush and other persons of authority.
On August 4, the US authorities officially admitted of having Aafia in their custody but the US Department of Justice brought forth a charge sheet against her, claiming that she was arrested on July 17 (and not before) while loitering around near the residence of Ghazni’s Governor. They alleged that papers found in her handbag included instructions on making bombs and notes about installations in US.