Analysis: Dr Fauzia vs the Jamaat-e-Islami

Published: April 9, 2013
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File photo of Dr Fauzia Siddiqui. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

File photo of Dr Fauzia Siddiqui. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

KARACHI: 

Ms Fauzia Siddiqui, the sister of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, will be contesting elections against former mayor of Karachi and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Naimatullah Khan. Understandably, this has put the JI in a tight spot.

She originally decided to contest from NA-250 (Karachi) in order to take on former President Pervez Musharraf. Now, his nomination papers for that constituency have been rejected and one has to wait and see whether he will file an appeal or not.

Fauzia, who decided to contest as an independent after getting a cold shoulder from the JI, is still in the running. Despite the JI’s best efforts, she has refused to withdraw. A senior JI leader in Karachi confirmed that efforts were made to convince her not to contest but she insisted and there is not much they can do to change her mind.

Why the JI refused her a ticket is another question. Sources say the tough JI conditionality for selection of the candidates may have prevented them from nominating or even supporting her in the elections. But one wonders why the Jamaat, which has seen its influence in Karachi whittled away, did not cash in on this opportunity.

After all, the Pasban, which comprises of youth members of the JI, have led a campaign too free Dr Aafia since 2005 and are still backing Fauzia Siddiqui. They too are now in a fix.

However, the JI is now giving more importance to its other youth wing, Shabab-e-Milli , and seems to have practically abandoned the Pasban, which was promoted by former JI Ameer, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, in the ’90s.

Fauzia, who is inexperienced in politics, came to the fore after 2005, when for the first time a foreign female journalist disclosed the presence of her sister Aafia in an Afghan jail.

Dr Aafia, who was residing in the US, disappeared in May 2003 after she left her home in Karachi, where she was staying with her mother. It is generally believe that she was picked up in an intelligence operation and handed over to the US at the old Quaid-e-Azam International Airport, from where she was flown to Kabul.

Surprisingly, the then MMA, which included the JI, did not raise the issue in the National Assembly or even in what was then the NWFP Assembly.

Her mother, who was interviewed for the first time by me, about a week after Aafia’s disappearance, disclosed that she was assured by then chairman of the Senate Mohammad Mian Soomro and Mushahid Hussain Syed, that she would be returned. That promise remains unfulfilled.

One also wonders what Fauzia Siddiqui wants to achieve by contesting elections, given that she stands little chance of success and that her defeat can only damage her sister’s cause. She has every right to feel disappointed with the JI for not supporting her or nominating her, but the cause of releasing her sister should take precedence over an electoral bid.

The Jamaat could have accommodated her on a reserved seat and only the Jamaat’s leadership knows why they did not do so. If they can make seat adjustments with the PML (N), the leader of which its Ameer once described as “two sides of the same coin,” when comparing him to Asif Ali Zardari,  then one seat could have been given to Fauzia as well.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 9th, 2013.

Correction: In an earlier version of the story, Naimatullah Khan was mistakenly referred to as Naimatullah Siddiqui. The error has been fixed. 

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Reader Comments (23)

  • UHS
    Apr 9, 2013 - 9:57AM

    Its ‘Naimatullah Khan’, not ‘Naimatullah Siddiqui’. ET, please correct.

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  • kashif
    Apr 9, 2013 - 10:03AM

    I will vote for someone because I believe that the person is capable enough and I believe in the manisfesto of that person’s party. I will not vote for someone because her sister has been in jail for unjust reasons. Voting for any reason other than the one I gave will be a criminal act for me.

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  • Zehra
    Apr 9, 2013 - 10:28AM

    Sorry but why should any party give Fauzia a ticket? Being the sister of Aafia Siddiqui has no correlation with fitness for public office? Ridiculous assumption.

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  • Ovais
    Apr 9, 2013 - 10:33AM

    Logical questions and arguements raised by the writer of this article… Good job

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  • wajahat
    Apr 9, 2013 - 12:28PM

    what i heard about fauzia that she initially plan to contest the musharuf from chitral on PTI ticket and asked JI to support her

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  • Usama Bin Ahmed
    Apr 9, 2013 - 12:32PM

    Why people are forgetting that MQM candidate “Khush bakht Shujaat” is also contesting from NA-250 and thats a fairly strong hold of MQM. Neither Fozia nor Nematullah Khan gonna win from there..

    A voice from Karachi

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  • Mustafa
    Apr 9, 2013 - 12:46PM

    Funny that both their surnames are Siddiqui! Recommend

  • Slider
    Apr 9, 2013 - 1:00PM

    Dr Arif Alvi of PTI is also contesting from the same seat. Inshallah he will win

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  • Baaghi
    Apr 9, 2013 - 1:04PM

    @Usama FYI This constituency has never been a strong hold of MQM in fact in 2008 they managed to grab this seat by a narrow margin of 8000 votes even with using all alleged rigging means. so what i reckon is that its an open arena for all contestants. but Mrs. Fouzia Apparently has no chance of winning from here that’s for sure…!

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  • Apr 9, 2013 - 1:04PM

    Fauzia Siddiqui is a talented and hardworking women hope she won election Best of luckRecommend

  • Lobster
    Apr 9, 2013 - 1:10PM

    @Usama Bin Ahmed:
    The voice of Karachi is not well informed, Khushbakht Shujaat is NOT contesting from NA-250. MQM has a number of voters but this seat has never been their stronghold.They lost it even in their peak times. And now their 5 years with PPP with some blunders has done a considerable dent

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  • Parvez
    Apr 9, 2013 - 1:33PM

    Birds of a feather flock to gether……………..but not always, as this case shows.

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  • Sameer
    Apr 9, 2013 - 2:16PM

    Making hay while the sun shines

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  • Apr 9, 2013 - 2:24PM

    one should remember that in 2008 election with the support of others PPP & PML N fielded joint and strong condidate against MQM but failed to win the seat. Now in the forthcoming election, every party is contesting election and makes the thing possible for MQM. This time MQM win easily despite all odds
    .

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  • Najeebullah
    Apr 9, 2013 - 4:00PM

    @Kashif, by the way Aafia was jailed for a just reason.

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  • Asjad
    Apr 9, 2013 - 4:12PM

    So who thought she was fighting for her sister?

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  • adnan khan
    Apr 9, 2013 - 7:42PM

    There are so many other candidates for this seat, don’t forget MQM and PTI also contesting, this is very disgusting and cheap way to spread such news against JI.

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  • Usher
    Apr 9, 2013 - 9:07PM

    Last time all parties were united against MQM even PPP which had large vote bank in this area and MQM manged to win this seat. InshaAllah MQM will win again.

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  • Waqar Hussain
    Apr 9, 2013 - 10:34PM

    @Usama Bin Ahmed:
    I just laughed at your comments Lolz

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  • Masood Khan
    Apr 10, 2013 - 1:35AM

    One may feel sorry for Dr. Fauzia as JI used her to collect millions on her sister — Aafia’ name. It’s no strange, JI is same party who refused to hand over copy rights of Syed Maududi’ books to his son Farooq Maududi. Now they are minting money by selling his books & tafseer. It may open Dr. Fauzia’ eyes.Recommend

  • I support Aunty Fauzia
    Apr 10, 2013 - 1:56AM

    Ms. Fauzia, I, along with all my friends, family, relatives and my entire social circle would support you for truly we can all comprehend with what you and your entire family are going through.
    May Allah s.w.t grant you a cleansweep victory and bless you always.
    Thoughts, prayers and wishes are with you.

    Ps: please ignore all the other baseless comments for they are very ignorant and are least-aware of the actual truth.

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  • Haseeb
    Apr 26, 2013 - 4:03AM

    @Masood Khan:
    The only reason why jammat islami supported dr.fauzia was to bring dr. Afia back home and there were no other political motives behind that. But this does not meant that one day dr.fauzia will stood up and demand for the party ticket. As far as farooq maudidi is concerned it was maulana maudidi who donated the copy rights to jammat islami during his life time. And over all if you will look at jammat islami it is the only political party where there is no corruption and even the head of that party lives in 120 sq yard house. They are the only people who are trust worthy and can run the country in the right track.

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  • M Surkhail Rana
    May 4, 2013 - 4:43PM

    Dr. Fouzia will Win IN SHAA ALLAH

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