KARACHI: A Grand National Jirga here in front of the Mausoleum of the father of the nation on Sunday unanimously demanded of the State of Pakistan to take urgent interventions for the release and repatriation of the daughter of the nation, Dr Aafia Siddiqui.
A large number of political social and civil society leaders attended the moot, arranged by Aafia Movement, also participated by the people belonging to all walks of life.
Addressing the Jirga, ex-Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice (retired) Wajihuddin Siddiqui said that politicians when they are not in government make tall claims, but forget them when coming in power. He said Aafia is not alone but the whole Pakistani nation backs her. He said this Jirga today has adopted a landmark Karachi Declaration and the government should act upon its important recommendations. He reminded that when the women and children of the Arab traders were imprisoned by the pirates near the coast of Sindh the then ruler Hajjaj bin Yusuf had sent an army led by Muhammad bin Qasim to secure their release. He regretted that 12 years have already passed and we have still done nothing for the release of our daughter. He said when the CIA agent Raymond Davis was arrested for killing Pakistan citizens we released him in a shameful manner, instead of swapping him for the Aafia release.
Justice Wajih said in the war on terror we have wasted more than one billion dollars and 50000 precious lives. He said today the soldiers of NATO are leaving Afghanistan and we are providing them security cover. He said this is the height of government apathy regarding forgetting national interests. He said for the release of Dr Aafia we have to tell the real facts to American people and their intelligence agencies to create a public support for the release of Aafia in the US. He said the allegation leveled on Dr Aafia seems a farce as no an American soldier was even hurt in the so-called attack. He said Aafia was kidnapped from Pakistan and the attack occurred in Afghanistan that was under the control of NATO; however, Aafia was convicted under the US laws! He said it is sad that no Pakistani is allowed to visit Aafia in jail and it is the worst violation of human rights. He said due to this we cannot know for sure if she is dead or alive.
Justice Wajih said that our legal system should take action, and Pakistani masses should shake the listless government that is fast asleep on this vital national issue. He said more than 125000 people from the different parts of the world had signed a petition to President Obama and appealed him to release Aafia, but the American President seems not impressed. He said, however, Dr Aafia is not
alone and the whole nation is with her. He said the National Jirga demands from the government of Pakistan to knock the door of United States and the International Criminal Court.
Aafia Movement leader Dr Fowzia Siddiqui said this National Jirga has already given its verdict in shape of the Karachi Declaration. She said she was proud that the whole nation supported the cause of Aafia. She said the nation would no more tolerate this disgrace that the daughter of the nation is still imprisoned abroad. She said she was proud that the nation made this National Jirga a big success. She regretted that the rulers showed their traditional apathy and lack of courage and did not discharge their responsibilities. They wasted several opportunities for the release of Aafia. They preferred the US dollars to the national pride and lowered the head of nation in shame and disgraced the national flag. She said now time has come that the demand of the release of Aafia should come from every home.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader MNA Muzzamil Qureshi said the government should fulfill the promises of Aafia release and take immediate efforts in this regard. He said efforts should be taken on both diplomatic and humanitarian grounds. He said as the nation has joined on one platform against terrorism, it should also be united for the release of Aafia Siddiqui.
Khaksar Tehreek leader and Advisor Sindh to the Qaid Khaksar Tehreek Pakistan Professor Ali Nasar Asakari on the occasion, said that those traitors and enemy of Pakistan had handed over Dr. Aafia Siddiqui to US and later, the Pakistan solidarity under threats till today, now the need to charge over a case against such act.
He said the advocate should take notice under the law and challenge in the court or as UNO must play its role.
He said Khaksar Tehreek will support those national leaders play their part to bring Dr. Aafia back to the country.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) general secretary Iqbal Zaffar Jhagra said Aafia is the daughter of the nation and her release is our collective national responsibility. He said we would take utmost efforts for securing her early release and repatriation.
Noted scholar Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi said the release of Aafia is necessary from the Islamic point of view. He said Aafia has reminded the great sacrifices of the Muslim women of early Islamic history. He said Aafia is braving a huge punishment for the weakness of Pakistan as a nation.
Pakistan Bar Council Member Yaseen Azad Advocate said when a foreigner is convicted in Pakistan he is released and sent home in special planes, but the government is not taking any effort for the release of the innocent Aafia. He said; however, he was seeing a ray of hope for the early release of Aafia.
Jammat-e-Islami (JI) Pakistan Naib Amir and president Milli Yakijahiti Council Sindh Asadullah Bhutto said all political parties should join hands for the release of Aafia. He said it is the responsibility of the government to take all-out steps in this regard.
PML-N central vice president Saleem Zia said the sacrifices of Dr Aafia Siddiqui are unmatched in the recent history of mankind. He said denying her lawyers and family members from meeting Aafia is injustice.
Pakistan Tahreek e Insaf Women Wing leader Nazia Rabbani said the rulers are in deep slumber on the issue of Aafia. She said the past governments also failed to discharge their responsibilities in this regard. She said women are the fifty percent of the national population but still deprived of
their due rights. She said when in Pakistan the rights of women are so openly violated how we could expect from the foreigners to respect the rights of Pakistani women. She reminded that the first protest of her political life was a protest for Aafia. She said we will fight for Aafia till our last breath.
Noted personality of Showbiz and the leader of All Pakistan Muslim League Salma Waheed Murad said the atrocities meted out to Aafia have saddened everyone. She said we all have to play our due role for the release of Aafia. She said APLM is with the whole nation for the release of the daughter of the nation.
Karachi Traders Alliance Chairman Atiq Mir said when the Pakistan nation would realize about defending the honor of its mothers and daughters it would become a truly great nation.
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) leader Asad Iqbal Butt said Dr Aafia was kidnapped from the Karachi Airport. He said irrespective of if she had committed any crime her kidnapping along with her three minor children, their trafficking, keeping them in detention for a long time and inhuman torture on them is a big crime. He said it was illegal and immoral not to present Aafia before any Pakistani court and silently hand her over to America.
Sabiha Burney Advocate said the so-called champion of human rights, USA, openly violated the basic human rights of Aafia and got her separated from her minor children.
Qadir Khan Mandokhel Advocate asked from the Pakistani courts and citizens under which law Dr Aafia and her children were kidnapped and trafficked from Pakistan and kept in Bigram Jail?
Altaf Shakoor, President of Pasban e Pakistan said Dr Aafia could return home in just 24 hours if the Pakistani rulers show sincerity.
Ex-president of Karachi Bar Association Naeem Akhtar Qureshi said Pakistan and other Islamic countries should remove the shackles of US slavery. He said Nawaz Sharif and Imran paid only lip service to the cause of Aafia and did not take any practical steps. He said Aafia has been enduring a serious injustice and for her release a joint struggle is necessary.