Media watch is a daily round-up of key articles featured on news websites, hand-picked by The Express Tribune web staff.
Country erupts over Dr Aafia verdict
As many as 18 people were injured and over a dozen others arrested by the police, as hundreds of students and women activists of Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) protested on Friday the American court's verdict against Pakistani scientist, Dr Aafia Siddiqui. Ismail Dilawar (brecorder.com)
Here in Pakistan, the vociferous protest about the ‘innocence’ of Dr Siddiqui has much to do with the suspicion that she has been a victim of the ‘war on terror’, a Muslim mother who was somehow targeted by an increasingly Islamophobic West because she proudly wore her Muslim identity. Inside the courtroom, however, such suspicions and fears were largely beside the point: Dr Siddiqui’s decision to take the witness stand against all legal advice was largely her undoing, there being enough contradictions raised during her cross-examination that reasonable suspicion was created. (dawn.com)
While a furore will naturally rise at home over the case, human rights activists should also use the affair to direct attention towards the fate of other Pakistanis who have also landed up in foreign jails. Some are certainly innocent or guilty of little more than immigration offences. They too, like Dr Siddiqui, deserve justice. It is important also that the details of Dr Siddiqui's story should be explored in greater depth. It is undoubtedly an immensely sad one. No one should suffer the fate she has suffered. There is reason for the anger we see. But perhaps the tale of the young woman can also offer us insight into how extremist networks operate and why the best and brightest in our land may be targeted by them. Perceived and real injustice perpetuated by the US plays a role in this. But it is important to rise above emotion and examine all these factors--so that others can be spared the same suffering. (thenews.com.pk)
MQM chief calls for Aafia sentence withdrawal
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has demanded the American government withdraw the sentence of Dr Afia Siddiqui and set her free. In a statement issued from the MQM International Secretariat, he criticised the sentencing by the US court and said that this would lead to what he called more hatred against America among the Pakistani people. Altaf Hussain sympathised with the mother of Afia, Begum Asmat Siddiqui, and sister, Dr Fauzia Siddiqui, as well other members of the family. (dailytimes.com.pk)