Just formal govt request needed for Aafia repatriation: Dr Fowzia

Sameer Nazir
KARACHI:
After an agreement between Pakistan and the USA for exchange of prisoners now it just needs a formal request from the government of Pakistan to secure release and repatriation of Dr Aafia Siddiqui and the Grand National Jirga would also formulate an action plan in this regard, said Aafia Movement Pakistan leader Dr Fowzia Siddiqui.
Addressing a press conference at Karachi Press Club (KPC) here on Friday, she said she was thankful to the Pkistani nation that felt per pain and as the result of this national solidarity two children of Aafia were freed from the US prison and reached home. She said it was a miracle that in a country where the dead bodies of the missing persons are sent home, out of the four missing persons of her family three of them were located. She said this is a grave achievment in a country where either dead bodies of the missing persons are found or buried in unmarked graves.
She said this press conference is renewal of the appeal of an ailing mother and a hapless sister, as we have already appealed the nation several times for efforts to get the daughter of the nation, Dr Aafia Siddiqui released from the US jail and repatriate to the country. She has been jailed for last 12 years and it is our collective responsibility to secure her release and repatriation with honor.
Dr Fowzia said that she and her ailing mother have already knocked every door for getting justice. She said now we have tired but the government as well as the nation is still in deep slumber. She said to shake the national conscience on this vital issue we have convened a national Jirga to remind the government and Pakistani nation about their responsibilities towards the release and repatriation of Dr Aafia Siddiqui. This national Jirga would formulate a serious and workable action plan in this regard. This nation Jirga would be held on Sunday, February 08 in front of Mazar-e-Quaid. At least one hundred political and civil society leaders, intellectuals, scholars, lawyers and teacher would attend the moot, besides a large number of people would participate in this national program.
The recommendations of this Jirga would be based to form a national plan, which would be presented before the President and Prime Minister so that they could formulate a workable action plan as per the aspirations of the nation and a way paved for the release and repatriation of Aafia Siddiqui. She said if the government still then failed to take action in this regard we would present this case in the court of people and compelled to resort to protest and the government and its functionaries would be responsible for it.
All the developed nations highly value their national pride and nation conscience and defending their citizens and national institutions is their utmost priority, which they ensure at all costs. She said it seemed that as a nation and country we seem to have forgotten the issue of Pakistani mother Dr Aafia Siddiqui. She said as the nation knows that Dr Aafia Siddiqui was kidnapping 12 years ago from Karachi when she was on the way to Karachi airport along with her minor children. She was trafficked outside the country and after keeping her in illegal detention for five years, her arrested was shown in a faked attack on American soldiers in Afghanistan at Bigram Base. She said would anyone believe that this fragile girl could take her minor children along with her for attacking American soldiers. She said Aafia is a highly educated girl believing in Islamic teaching who was busy in research to end the class-based education system from Pakistan. She was convicted on very weak and flimsy evidences. It is very sad that the daughter of the nation was convicted 86-year imprisonment in a questionable manner and before that she was physically and mentally tortured and dishonored. She said today 12 years have passed and the daughter of the nation is still in the US imprisonment and no one is coming for rescue.
Dr Fowzia said that our week national conscience on the Dr Aafia issue could be seen from the fact when American agent Raymond Davis was arrested in Pakistan his release could have been swapped with the release of Aafia, but the American slaves in the corridors of power in Pakistan opposed this idea. She said now when an agreement of exchange of prisoners has already been inked there is no reason for further delay in release and repatriation of Aafia. She said now it needs just a formal request from the government of Pakistan for the release of Aafia.
She requested the media, civil society and intellectuals besides national political and social leadership to play their due role in making the national Jirga a big success so that an early and honorable release and repatriation of Aafia Siddiqui could be secured.