The Aafia mafia

Published: September 27, 2010
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The writer is a columnist, and TV and radio anchor 
fasi.zaka@tribune.com.pk

The writer is a columnist, and TV and radio anchor fasi.zaka@tribune.com.pk

About a year ago, I wrote a column that got the ghairat brigade on my case. The gist of the column was that the trial in the US was based on a case of evidence, and lack of, that the US had full control over in the alleged attempt to shoot a US soldier by Dr Aafia Siddiqui. That she would get a fair trial was dubious, plus the case was opportunistic because the US took the easy way out and didn’t prosecute her for her alleged links to al Qaeda but instead for a shooting during a questioning. She was, after all wanted for links to terrorism initially. Then of course, one of the main problems is the US took a third party national from Afghanistan for a trial in their domestic courts.

The offending opinion which got the aforementioned ghairat specialists riled up, which I still subscribe to, is that from what we know Dr Aafia cannot be categorically described as innocent or guilty.

Before she went missing, before the alleged shooting, Dr Aafia was on the radar as an enabler of terrorism. A UN commission described her as a member of al Qaeda, Sheikh Khalid Mohammed gave her name to the US and court records show her as the second wife of an al Qaeda member. One of her uncle’s claims to have met her when she was supposedly in detention in Afghanistan by the US during her missing year’s period. Her ex-husband rubbishes many of her claims, and the family of Dr Aafia won’t let the media speak to her children who can shed light on what really happened.

We should be spending money on her defence simply because she is a Pakistani national in trouble and convicted in a case that is doubtful. But everyone who resolutely proclaims her innocence like most of the political parties in the country do so inaccurately. To argue for due process and greater disclosure is what we ought to be doing because that is what was denied to Dr Aafia, but the evidence to suggest she was or was not a member of al Qaeda does not exist without a shadow of a doubt for both parties.

In her outbursts in court, Dr Aafia let on more than she chose to clarify. Why would she think she could make peace with the Taliban, what connections did she have with them, wasn’t she supposed to be illegally detained in a US prison in Afghanistan during that period preventing that? Or how did she know about more 9/11 type attacks?

I have a friend who works in the production unit of Pakistan’s most watched channels, and she told me an interesting anecdote that when the verdict was announced for Dr Aafia (not the sentencing which has been done separately now) the news team all thought Dr Aafia was not entirely innocent because of other facts in the case, but when they went on air they agreed to do so with the unequivocal line that she was innocent.

I imagine politicians are in the same boat, even if they have doubts, voicing that opinion is almost like a taboo. I suspect it has to do with the same line of logic that causes many to be inadvertent sympathisers of the Pakistani Taliban despite their bloody war against Pakistani citizens. Any overt sense of religious symbolism throws out rationality in a sense of what could loosely be described as “catholic guilt”.

We root for the Taliban because they supposedly lead austere lives and pray five times a day and then unforgivably forgive them for the most immoral of acts, large scale murder. To simply not entertain the idea that Dr Aafia may have been a member of al Qaeda is a reflection of the same thought process.

Dr Aafia doesn’t deserve 86 years in prison for the case in which she has been held guilty, and it’s an absolute travesty of justice that the US will not proceed to demonstrate the evidence that got her linked to terrorism. But, if the circumstantial evidence is true regarding her membership to al Qaeda, then she deserves 86 years and more. Otherwise, repatriate her and let it be.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 28th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (128)

  • Umar Tosheeb
    Sep 27, 2010 - 10:51PM

    Right on Mr. Zaka. She’s no angel as portrayed by many. Recommend

  • Talha
    Sep 27, 2010 - 10:52PM

    She does not deserve 86 years for the crime she was prosecuted for, but the crimes we as the general public have limited knowledge about, perhaps she deserves it for them.Recommend

  • Sep 27, 2010 - 10:56PM

    What is nauseating is the political opportunism of our political elites. They sat around doing nothing while she vanished for five years, but the day she was flown off to New York, everyone jumped on the America bashing bandwagon and political point scoring. Not to mention the free joy ride to America the senate fact finding mission enjoyed. The fact that she is a Pakistani citizen and deserves the states support is enough. Scoring political points on top of it is just despicable.
    Now that we have set such high standards for supporting beleaguered Pakistanis abroad, I hope the same politicians and those protesting on the streets will also raise their voice for all those Pakistanis languishing in jails around the world, stranded across the middle east as migrant workers, or young children who are smuggled out of Pakistan as part of the human trafficking racket. Or the many Pakistanis holed up in prisons in Afghanistan, or all the missing persons who have been reniditioned away. Or are we all puppets in the hands of the media and political point scoring?Recommend

  • Hira
    Sep 27, 2010 - 10:57PM

    I completely agree with what you’ve written. Furthermore I also seriously believe that the Americans would not bother with her unless there was something major tying her to Al-Qaeda. The reality is that it is really hard for some-one like me to distinguish between the reality and the lie, I mean there are so many versions of her story going aroundRecommend

  • Anonymous
    Sep 27, 2010 - 11:03PM

    We should be spending money on her defence simply because she is a Pakistani national in trouble and convicted in a case that is doubtful. But everyone who resolutely proclaims her innocence like most of the political parties in the country do so inaccurately

    lovely line. my viewpoint ofr quite a long time exactlyRecommend

  • Shabbir Bukhari
    Sep 27, 2010 - 11:07PM

    The author is write that she is not totally innocent.But we the Pakistani take sides on the basis of emotions and put rationality and evidence aside for that matter.Impulsive nation….Recommend

  • Sep 27, 2010 - 11:15PM

    “We should be spending money on her defence simply because she is a Pakistani national in trouble and convicted in a case that is doubtful. But everyone who resolutely proclaims her innocence like most of the political parties in the country do so inaccurately. To argue for due process and greater disclosure is what we ought to be doing because that is what was denied to Dr Aafia…”

    Excellently written and spot on analysis !
    I wish bloggers like “Anas Abbas” can learn from you !
    Regards.Recommend

  • Abdur
    Sep 27, 2010 - 11:15PM

    No wonder why the ghairiat brigade is after you. Expect more brigades to follow you in future (this is not a prayer for you to have a police protocol, you’re just not that lucky)
    Why do Pakistanis sympathize with Taliban ? Why do you say if shes linked with AlQaeda punish her more ? Is AlQaeda wrong or we are the among the founders of AlQaeda ? Why not punish US to help form AlQaeda ? Did US have credible proof for 9/11? I dont think so. Did they give Taliban time to negotiate ? Afia is wrong because shes the WIFE oF ALQAEDA LEADER . Sad piece of logic fasih. Recommend

  • Tony Khan
    Sep 27, 2010 - 11:23PM

    A sovereign nations court has judged her as guilty. We must accept the verdict, otherwise who will accept Pakistani courts verdicts. Recommend

  • Uzair Javed
    Sep 27, 2010 - 11:25PM

    Excellent piece. But I’m afraid that such logic shall meet its untimely demise at the hands of the “Aafia Mafia” :PRecommend

  • shoaib
    Sep 27, 2010 - 11:40PM

    a never ending debate until real facts are out ….. if she is a pakistani citizen ….. US cant convict her over there ……. but if not then vice versa …… i still believe her family knows many other secrets or linking clues but they are not speaking up for some reason …. n apart from all yes US has given a terrible and unfair decision. 86 years ??? its better to hang her up then that.Recommend

  • Sep 27, 2010 - 11:57PM

    fasi:

    this quam ki beti is a US citizen alsoRecommend

  • ADIL
    Sep 28, 2010 - 12:11AM

    i’m a highly opinionated person, and i subscribe to claims (corroborated by The Guardian and The Sun) tht Afia was a Pakistani (ISI) agent who defected to CIA while on her mission in Afghanistan and USA, by not allowing her to protect her to return to Pakistan, is actually protecting her.
    and let me clear tht i have no problems with things being tht way.

    But be as it may, whether she was or was not an ISI, CIA or Al Qaeda agent/member/whatever.. But by suggesting tht the 86 years sentence is illegal/immoral or both, are we suggesting tht the US judicial system is not independent of the executive but is itself playing the ball by the rules set by the Pentagon?

    i’m not quite sure. Fasi, please clarify. Recommend

  • Sep 28, 2010 - 12:27AM

    hats-off fasi.. the entire nation is just getting on the sympathy bandwagon while the politicians and media houses have their own personal interests to protect. i fully agree with the fact that our stance has been completely off-the-track.. rather than giving our own verdict to counter the one given by the US courts, we should be looking to make sure that a Pakistani citizen is not convicted without due process of law

    Whether guilty or not is for the courts to decide and if she has even the slightest of links to al-qaeeda or any other terrorist organization, then kudos for her sentencing.

    We have karo-karis dont we? so why not also focus on those thousands of women that deserve just as much, or rather should i dare to say, even more attention than received by the Afia case.. Recommend

  • Kazim Abdu' Samad
    Sep 28, 2010 - 12:29AM

    An honest analysis!Recommend

  • Hassan Shehzad
    Sep 28, 2010 - 12:32AM

    i think fasi is quite right. i add that it is only the extremists who benefit from this vague verdict. now they are spreading in every nook and cranny of the country, spewing venom and calling for another bin Qasim, as if the first one was not enough for the region’s destruction. bin Laden is their man of choice to play bin Qasim in this episode. if u wanna see a daughter of the nation dying, look around and u will find thousands breathing death in our modest morning, noon and night. it is about time afia’s children be returned to their father from the custody of her sister.for heaven’s sake, we dont need no bin Qasims this time. Recommend

  • Sep 28, 2010 - 12:41AM

    Dude, congrats you are still here… lol… by the way, now, we’re going to be tolerant people! Recommend

  • neel
    Sep 28, 2010 - 12:56AM

    hey guys,

    I am neel from delhi

    Its really like another world. Thanks for showing it. I never knew this part of Pakistan. This is the first time I saw people really using the brain not the heart before commenting. Otherwise whatever is spewed in media is just stale pudding …….not good for stomach. I equally congratulate author for sticking his neck out and writing………………

    Pakistan ………..Zindabad.Recommend

  • shahmeer
    Sep 28, 2010 - 1:16AM

    you know what man- lets say shes guilty. but shes been raped and tortured for like a century. how do you justify that. She was sentenced before getting sentenced. basic human right act clause- innocent until proven guilty. The way she was kept, brutally raped, tortured humiliated who can justify that? And all this happened before she got the sentence. Recommend

  • ArifQ
    Sep 28, 2010 - 1:21AM

    Brave words, I wish you luck and I mean “Luck” because the Aafia brigade can be very unforgiving.Recommend

  • Yasir
    Sep 28, 2010 - 1:37AM

    . The crimes were committed in Afghanistan, she can only be put on trial in Afghanistan… America has no rights to put her on trial… thats it .Recommend

  • Sep 28, 2010 - 1:38AM

    Whoa. Even bold would be an understatement. However, I am more excited and awaited for the rebuttals. They are fun.Recommend

  • dawood
    Sep 28, 2010 - 1:54AM

    U dont trust the US Judiciary and its independence but u have faith in our Judiciary and court? ROFL!! Recommend

  • Sep 28, 2010 - 2:14AM

    Nothing’s known about her missing years. There are however witnesses to the presence of prisoner 650 in Bagram – the TRANSPARENT US court obviously ignored these witnesses.

    86 years for an ATTEMPTED murder which was NOT backed by any FORENSIC EVIDENCE. There are however evidences regarding HER being shot. The TRANSPARENT court ignored all that.

    Keeping the ‘qaum ki beti’ thing aside , it is okay to educate yourself regarding the case. It’s not just the Pakistanis who are making noise on the issue. I hope you don’t believe amnesty intl is foolish enough to fall for this ‘qaum ki beti’ emotional wave.

    Shukria!Recommend

  • Sep 28, 2010 - 2:29AM

    A very well written piece of work. Explicitly unbiased and an intelligent attempt.Recommend

  • mario
    Sep 28, 2010 - 3:36AM

    Once again a very well-written piece by you. There is so much evidence against her that only a fool can think of her innocent.Recommend

  • syed hashim
    Sep 28, 2010 - 4:49AM

    @natasha:

    Looks like you are part of the ghairat brigade too, so much so that you cannot even bother to read the article properly, the author agrees with some of what you write.

    One of the failings of the ghairat/nationalistic brigades is facts and research. you quote Amnesty International, well they do NOT say like you do that she was detained by the US for five years, they say it is unconfirmed (i.e. there is real evidence)

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR51/004/2010/en/12fabc51-a78a-4e9a-938e-d4c589eba1d4/amr510042010en.html

    Second, amnesty international has never championed her cause, they sent an observer to her trial, and because they were probably (this is an assumption) convinced no miscarriage of justice was being carried out, have not pursued it since. And this was back in January.

    Dr. Aafia might be your quam ki beti (there are people who really deserve this title), but you cannot force Amnesty International to adopt Dr. Aafia as their quam ki beti falsely. Recommend

  • basharat
    Sep 28, 2010 - 5:02AM

    I do not know whether Dr Afia is guilty or not, likewise most of the emotional particpants of the rallies arranged by political parties are unaware of the facts. It has been revealed on behalf the Government that uptill now, twenty millions dollers have been spent for providing the legal aid. with this amount , 50000 rupees per families could be provided to about 30000 families, displaced by flood who are living in a miserable condition without proper food, clean water, clothings ,accomodation , health care, education facilities for their children and many
    other requirements of life. Dr Afia is daughter of pakistan, but what are her special services for Pakistan which could entitle her for these profuse expences.Many innocent women, within Pakistan have been murdered, burned, buried alive, gangraped, strip paraded in streets and maltreated in other ways but there is no rally , no sit in, no protest , most of such cases go unpunished and in a few days, fade away from memory.Recommend

  • Sep 28, 2010 - 6:07AM

    Nation has to get rid of these mullahs otherwise nation will continue to suffer. Well written M. FasiRecommend

  • M Tauseef
    Sep 28, 2010 - 7:21AM

    some times logic fails to explain every thing we are in no position to comment weather she is guilty or not. but even if she was what was her crime and against whom. as a Muslim, as a Pakistani and as an educated person i know she would definitely know what she was doing than what we think she was and her logic would have conveyanced her to do what she did.

    on part of the Americans they did what they think should have been done.

    we just don’t agree with them thats why we are against the verdict.Recommend

  • mussarat ahmedzeb swat
    Sep 28, 2010 - 7:22AM

    really interesting Dr Afia.kiss ki betee Pakistan or USA?Recommend

  • Ash
    Sep 28, 2010 - 8:20AM

    v dun knw if she’s guilty or not,n voicng agnst ds sentnce is important cz an inocent mgt get da sentnce widout desrvng it.da world doubts 9 11. V dun knw who’s osama, he’s da 1 who has served america 4 invadng afghanstan n in a way pakistan. american agenda 4 justce cnt b trustd 4 da atrocities comitd by america. N not their trail as wel.dy creatd taliban,Recommend

  • A True Pakistani
    Sep 28, 2010 - 9:04AM

    She is an American citizen not a Pakistani national and married the cousin of Al Quaida leader Khalid Shaikh’s cousin. How could we say Qaum ki beti and wasting a lot of money and time. I have sympathy for her children. Recommend

  • Yusuf RK
    Sep 28, 2010 - 9:21AM

    To valid points have been made here:
    -she is a US citizen ,so how come she is Qaum ki Beti?
    -the crime was committed in Afghanistan, she should have been tried there. How come legal experts have ignored that.
    Lots of info on her Wiki page, pls do read!Recommend

  • Khadim Husain
    Sep 28, 2010 - 9:46AM

    DID JUDGE BERMAN MAKE A MISTAKE – WILL US ATTORNEY GENERAL CALL FOR A MIS-TRIAL?

    Dear Mr Holder,

    I am a journalist and film-maker who has been investigating the rather intriguing case of Dr Aafia Siddiqui since her disappearance with her three children in 2003.

    Can you please tell me why a Pakistani citizen, who allegedly carried out a crime in Afghanistan, was charged, tried and sentenced in a US court?

    Not only did the alleged crime happen in another country, but Ms Siddiqui was renditioned without formal extradition papers and without correct consular access according to official US records.

    No other citizen, from anywhere else in the world, has ever been put on trial in a US criminal court for the attempted murder of US soldiers although quite clearly, from the horrific statistics coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan the death toll and injuries of US soldiers is now running in excess of tens of thousands.

    Can we assume from this that the US is now in full occupation, and therefore in control of sovereignty of Afghanistan or did Judge Richard Berman simply make a mistake by accepting such a case in to his court?

    I have copied in Lord Nazir Ahmed from the British House of Lords in to this email since he has taken a particularly close interest in the whole case.

    I look forward to a response soonest.

    Kind regards

    Yvonne Ridley
    First Witness Productions Ltd.
    London
    ENGLANDRecommend

  • muhammed ashraf gandehi
    Sep 28, 2010 - 9:50AM

    pro americans would agree with the writer but none of them has come out with aquestion how she was sold. the culprits that is the sellers should be brought to the book and given exaplery punishnent.Recommend

  • Ishaq
    Sep 28, 2010 - 10:23AM

    WELL DONE Fasi Zaka !!!!!!!!!!! Recommend

  • Saad Durrani
    Sep 28, 2010 - 10:25AM

    For once, Mr. Zaka I agree. If Aafia is qaum ki beti, then Faisal is qaum ka beta. How easy it has been for us to pick and choose? But a sentence of 86 years is a joke too. Furthermore, she should have been tried in Afghanistan.

    The children might be in trauma and they should be kept away from our media unless they don’t turn 18.Recommend

  • SUB
    Sep 28, 2010 - 10:54AM

    Irrespective of her being guilty or innocent she is alleged to be in US prison in Afghanistan since 2003 when she was kidnapped from Pakistan, of all the shameless Pakistani politicians like Jamat e Islami/ MQM etc I guess they were by the side of the then Govt. of Gen. Pervaiz Musharraf. And now they are cursing every body but themselves for the treatment she has been going throughRecommend

  • salma
    Sep 28, 2010 - 10:58AM

    well i would disagree with you because its a general principle of law that an accused unless proven guilty is innocent . if she is not tried for the alleged links with alqaida, its very unfair to take it as fact that she did have some links with alqaida . you cannot justify her punishment by saying that yeah we get that the crime she was accused of was not done by her but she was an alqaida member. come on if US military made this drama it is not difficult for them to spread rumors that she was working for alqaida. if she is a terrorist , she should be tried for it n if proven guilty, she should be punished . but justifying this punishment on the basis of rumors is not expected of seasoned writer. the first responsibility of the educated class is say those things which is based on facts n not to based on heresay evidence because they shape peoples thoughts Recommend

  • Maera
    Sep 28, 2010 - 11:02AM

    Very well written and unbiased article.. people following certain ideology do not belong to any nation they are just loyal to the organizations they work for, hence she is neither Pakistani or a US citizen merely an operative for the respective organization.Recommend

  • Mohsin Hijazee
    Sep 28, 2010 - 11:08AM

    Your analysis is honest I must say and that’s true that we do not have proof of innocence. But that actually means that WE DO NOT HAVE but it might be out in the wild.

    The problem is not the sentence but the behavioral issue including rape and torture even before a conviction.

    Please answer following:

    Is it ok to rape?
    Is it ok to torture?
    And all that without and before conviction?

    Your analysis can be partially honest but cannot be complete without your mention of these facts as she was not discovered by Ghairat Brigade but by a British journalist as prisoner number 650.

    Please be really honest with yourself and people by telling them that you have a bias and you do a partial analysis. Recommend

  • Maha
    Sep 28, 2010 - 11:27AM

    I have heard that she had withdrawn her nationality from Pakistan.Is that true?
    And if yes..then she is no more a Pakistani National.Recommend

  • Tayyab Raza
    Sep 28, 2010 - 11:30AM

    i love what he writes… SPOT ON FASSI Recommend

  • Asad V. Shairani
    Sep 28, 2010 - 11:32AM

    The demand to bring her back doesn’t imply she’s innocent. Very nicely analyzed and written.Recommend

  • Inam ur rehman
    Sep 28, 2010 - 11:36AM

    I will have to agree with the thought that evidence should create the differentiation between the accused and the acquitted. But just one question for the ones who even wish to debate that! or for that matter who voice their hatred by asking for a capital punishment for her: She does not hold a US citizenship (which she has been falsely accused of in the past), than how come a US court can even hold her TRIAL????? oh yes they can because with other undebatable assets/values/airspace/information/1600 people, that we sold out to US under Musharaf’s regime, she stood no chance!Recommend

  • yaz
    Sep 28, 2010 - 11:47AM

    I say give her 100 years IF found to be an AlQaeda agent, for which she was on FBI most wanted list for a number of years. Is it not strange she is not indicted for being a terrorist or abetting terrorism but is convicted for a very flimsy charge of shooting at federal agents during investigation?

    I am surprised at the naiveté of some of the comments. Is the American government and their justice system always above board? Do they not have political tilts or public/media pressures due to which they can make unfair decisions? Do they never lie?

    Try grabbing an American citizen from a third country, label him as terrorist, and then convict him of trying to kill a policeman in Pakistan and give him 86 years. What do you think US will do?Recommend

  • Hasan Gilani
    Sep 28, 2010 - 11:53AM

    Well argued…exactly my points….why dont we focus on atrocities on women in our localities? We give a blind eye to Karo Kari and honour killings in Pakistan yet scream, shout and protest at American evils….charity begins at home….and regarding Afia…..use ur brains plz rather than thick emotions….no one kicks a dead dog….there MUST be sumthing wrong hence her ex and her kids are not even voicing their concerns!!!Recommend

  • Salman
    Sep 28, 2010 - 11:56AM

    She may have links with Al Qaeda may be helping them out but whether having links with Al Qaeda is actually a crime is itself debatable.

    Time and again their story have been repeated. If any of the group would have been in their place I am sure their behavior wouldn’t be any different. Al Qaeda was counted among heroes only until they were of use to US and terrorist after it was clear this US funded group (for peacekeeping and bring liberalization) was no longer of any good it was reclassified as the most wanted terrorist group. Also whether Al Qaeda was involved in 9/11 is still to be proved.Recommend

  • AQSA
    Sep 28, 2010 - 12:15PM

    one point which we all are missing !! it is vry surprising that US is not at all interested in her links with al qaeda or taliban so that she is not accused of these allegations what is the reason behind it ? the reason probably is that whole al-qaeda and taliban frenzy is itself controversial and US never can take action against its supported organizations so when US court is seeing this case as a separate issue and not connecting it with al qaeda issue 86 years of sentence is a total injustice. Recommend

  • Yasir Qadeer
    Sep 28, 2010 - 12:26PM

    I believe it is the Taliban and Taliban apologists who are trying to cash the issue of Dr. Aafia. We the learned citizens do understand that no one can be convicted if he or she is not guilty. Plus why did she give up the right to appeal if she was not guilty. Points to ponder I guess.Recommend

  • Amanat ali
    Sep 28, 2010 - 1:03PM

    what a double standard, if a bloody american is caught by the police in a criminal or anti-state activity in Pakistan, these are many cases happened in ISD that they caught by the police with heavy weapons and prohibited ammunition, but nothing action taken against them but our ministers give shut-up call to police instead. On the other hand Dr.Afia case we are arguing that the court verdict is correct. Whereas her case and personality still un-fold and no body even the american court/judges does not know what the real story is as said by the American lawyer in the court. this is double standard case.Recommend

  • Tariq Khan
    Sep 28, 2010 - 1:10PM

    Very well written Fasi. Recommend

  • Sep 28, 2010 - 2:14PM

    What people are protesting is not on this that she is form al-qaed or not,even no one sure about this and second such evidence are not showen to court.

    She got punishment on the “attempt of murder during custidy”. that case is weak and punishement is too high. I think we all should protest on this not only pliticians or media.

    Second, befre here trail was started she was treated 10 times more harshly than the sialkot brothers, only differenet is that she is alive.Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Sep 28, 2010 - 2:31PM

    We should be spending money on her defence simply because she is a Pakistani national in trouble and convicted in a case that is doubtful.

    This makes absolute sense !Recommend

  • Ammar
    Sep 28, 2010 - 2:33PM

    Ghairat brigade. love it…Recommend

  • Tina Alvi
    Sep 28, 2010 - 2:56PM

    what ever the truth is wether she has connections with al-qaida or not, she is a Pakistani dont forget that and its an insult for all of us and whole muslims around the world..we have become bagherat accept it or not upto u.Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Sep 28, 2010 - 3:15PM

    I would only say that I am surprised at the number of comments in favour of this … ridiculous writing!!! Everyone here has forgotten that two of her children are still missing and no one knows about them. what does they do wrong!!!Recommend

  • Bilal
    Sep 28, 2010 - 3:29PM

    Very well written Mr. Zaka. The last paragraph is a perfect summary.Recommend

  • Adil
    Sep 28, 2010 - 3:41PM

    Totally agree with you, Fasi. But there’s something more important which you have overlooked; bringing to justice all those who “SOLD” her to the US rather than trying her here in Pakistan first. Recommend

  • Asad
    Sep 28, 2010 - 3:46PM

    Balanced ArticleRecommend

  • Farheen
    Sep 28, 2010 - 4:20PM

    Thank you Fasi, this needeed to be said. I have argued the same on social networking sites and gotten called all sorts of colorful names.

    Just a few important points I want to mention:

    I believe one of the reasons why Aafia was not tried for her links to AlQaeda is probably because she was working as a spy initially for the ISI (her mom was friends with Zia’s family) and then later changed loyalties (or just developed symapthies for her taliban brothers). I dont think the CIA or ISI would be interested in ‘outting’ her.

    People keep on bringing up Ivone Ridley and her expose of the wailing female prisoner of Baghram, but nobody explains that Ivonne never saw Aafia just heard accounts from other Baghram inmates, published them and then Fauzia Siddiqi raised a hue and cry that this prisoner was infact Aafia. During this so called detention in Baghram her maternal uncle met her in Islamabad and she was spotted multiple times in karachi.

    Even if we are to believe that Aafia was detained at Baghram back in 2003. So the CIA let her loose and then captured her again in 2008???? does this make any sense? how many times has the CIA casually captured and released ppl who feature in their most wanted list. Most people who get picked up are either released for good (with chances of living a ‘normal’ life destroyed) or never resurface again.

    Lastly it is a grave injustice that we bundle the likes of Aafia Siddiqi with the hundreds of thousand innocents who have disappeared at the hands of CIA/ MI5 / MI6 / ISI. While they might be peaceful activists, journalists, students resisting constructively and having NO links with any extremist group, Aafia Siddiqi as evidenced by all the conflicting stories on her may not be this.Recommend

  • Ilyas
    Sep 28, 2010 - 4:25PM

    Good analysis. When will our politicians leave out hypocracy and become realistic in their approach. We are still in point scoring.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Sep 28, 2010 - 4:32PM

    Few days back, I saw on CNBC, that Mr. “Mujahid Bravely” while talking to Fauzia Siddique (sister of Aafia) taking side of USA and confusing the whole matter. As Mujahid get paid by American Channel so his real royalties are with them. Here is the same case with Mr. Fasi

    If Mr. Fasi Lassi is kidnapped from Karachi and sold to Indians for $ and the Indian accused him of having links with Al Qaida Or that he fired upon a Indian soldiers . So my first question would be where should be the trail held ? and should we worry more about this “Qaum Ka fat beta” or should we look into other problems of Pakistan.

    Muhammad Bin Qasim came to India on a requested of a Muslim Girl who was imprisoned and tortured by Indian Banya. Now Muhammad Bin Qasim did not make Excuses that “Muslim girl” was really innocent or not.
    So my second question is that “is there any Muhammad bin Qasim left in our nation” Recommend

  • S.J
    Sep 28, 2010 - 4:35PM

    I totally agreed on this and i think this is exactly what Marvi memon said last night. Its useless to protest for an Al-Qaida Member.Recommend

  • H
    Sep 28, 2010 - 5:09PM

    lets go back to 2009
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/24/aafia-siddiqui-al-qaida
    I belive she had links. We can never find the truth in pakistan.The goverment the media are all part of an indian movie.Recommend

  • urouj mirza
    Sep 28, 2010 - 5:43PM

    totally agree with u fasi,just one question for the gairat brigade thou,do u guys have a count of women victimization in this land of pure,how many women get killed everyday in the name of honor,during childbirth,enimity?for God’s sake look around u,these women are not killed by unholy americans but by citizens of this holy/pure/castle of islam with a bomb etc land.not to mention she is a green card holder:)Recommend

  • Bangash
    Sep 28, 2010 - 6:50PM

    Aafia Siddiqi is a terrorist who was convicted in court. All those who disagree with her sentence should have shown up in court and defended her at her trial.Recommend

  • Henna
    Sep 28, 2010 - 7:31PM

    Obviously, people on all sides (US, Pakistan, Afghanistan) are covering up the facts in this matter. What about the possibility that she’s an American agent? An 86-year sentence puts her permanently out of the public eye, and provides an opportunity to change her identity and appearance as in the Witness Protection Program. Maybe her “missing” kids are under protection, too.
    The fact is, Pakistan has become a dog-eat-dog system wherein people feel free to indulge in whatever kinds of corruption, crime, and coat-turning necessary to survive. Ever since 9/11, we have lost our real values, and continue to let ourselves be herded under religious tents set up by mullahs and the Taliban, as if they are leading us back to our true spiritual roots. A writer like Fasi Zaka is great because he reminds us to get out there and think for ourselves. Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Sep 28, 2010 - 8:02PM

    Here every one is saying Dr. Aafia might have links with Al Qaida , USA says she might have links , Writer ‘Fas’i say she might have links. What if I say Mr Fasi might have links to Al Qaida also.
    USA tried this for five year in Afghanistan but failed,

    At last she was sentenced on a baseless, fabricated story of firing on a US soldier without a proper trail and as she knew very well that she cannot get fair justice so she refused to appeal even.

    Her so called defense lawyer (given by US themselves), instead of defending her and proving her innocence, appealed to Judge to decrease her sentence to 12 years. She was declared guilty even before the trail started.

    Now the writer Mr. Fasi is bending upon declaring dr. Aafia links with Al Qaida which even US could not prove themselves may be Mr. Fasi own sister and daughter was in Dr. Aafia’s place then he would have felt the pain and could have understandRecommend

  • Pakistani
    Sep 28, 2010 - 8:34PM

    Dr. Afia is not a US citizen neither she has ‘Green Card’. This has been confirmed by the sister and mother of Dr. Afia. Its all propaganda by western media.

    Although her children who were born in USA are US national as per their law.Recommend

  • Mohsin Hijazee
    Sep 28, 2010 - 8:57PM

    Well, we do not need mullas and we do not need imbalanced people like Fassi either. Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Sep 28, 2010 - 8:58PM

    In Law there is no “IF’S”

    “A person is innocent until proven guilty”

    What a rubbish argument
    That if Dr. Afia is CIA agent
    if Dr. Afia is Al Qaida Agent
    if Dr. Afia is a RAW agent
    if Dr. Afia is a GHOST
    if Dr. Afia is sector incharge of MQM
    if she is an American citizen
    if she is a Neuro Scientist making a dangerous virus

    All the above are all ” if’s ”

    Confirm thing is:
    She is Pakistani – Yes
    She is a Muslim – Yes
    She was kidnapped in Karachi by General Musharraf & Co (includes MQM) and sold to USA – Yes
    She was imprisoned for 5 years without a trail in Afghanistan , – Yes
    She was raped there, – Yes
    She was tortured there – Yes
    Her two children still missing, probably dead – Yes
    She was druged – Yes
    She was humiliated – Yes
    She was shot – Yes

    the thing which is confirmed, we should discuss only those things Recommend

  • mahmood
    Sep 28, 2010 - 9:30PM

    Dr.Aafia is a TERRORIST she is and will be al qaeda agent why are we supporting her, her al qaeda is KILLING and exploding Bombs in Pakistan AND her sister is also with al qaeda the slap she always talks about is at her face AND please also don’t forget AMERICANS when they have evidence only then they take actionRecommend

  • Mohsin Hijazee
    Sep 28, 2010 - 10:05PM

    Write a nonsense controversial thing and get popular overnight. One correction, she was not american citizen. Recommend

  • Sep 28, 2010 - 10:27PM

    Cant agree more !Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Sep 28, 2010 - 10:54PM

    a very apt article but i’m afraid we’re gonna have to sit back and watch it unravel like the way it is right now. it’s Pakistan after allRecommend

  • hasan
    Sep 28, 2010 - 11:10PM

    Wow now fasi zaka too gives out “FATWAS” damn fasi you are trying to brand anyone with a different opinion as “aafia mafia” Recommend

  • Sep 28, 2010 - 11:12PM

    @Pakistani

    She is a muslim and a Pakistani, doesn’t make her innocent. She is convicted, because she was found guilty. Respect the decision by the courts. We are trying to do the same in Pakistan.Recommend

  • parvez
    Sep 29, 2010 - 1:30AM

    Nice article. Would tend to agree with most of what you say.
    An American court has convicted her. We are questioning how could they ?
    The answer lies in the immortal words of Bill Clinton ” Because they can.”Recommend

  • Ali Haider
    Sep 29, 2010 - 3:05AM

    You are right. But I believe things to be more complicated than you made them look. However I totally agree with your idea of things becoming a taboo in our country and then everyone follows just like a herd of sheep. Be it distributing sweets when Musharraf came in or be it distributing sweets when he left. We need psychiatric treatment. All of us.Recommend

  • Nasir
    Sep 29, 2010 - 3:38AM

    I want to correct some misconceptions about Dr. Aafia is nationality. She was offered green card when she was studying in US, but she refused the nationality. While her children born in US, got nationality as it was due. But Dr. Aafia is st…ill Pakistani citizen.
    I don’t know why some mindset of people don’t realize about the accomplishment regarding Dr. Aafia.
    She having 144 Honors degrees, diplomas and certificates in Neurology from different Institutes of the World.
    The only neurologist in the world has an Honorary PHD from Harvard University.
    She is a Hafiz-e-Quraan, ‘Aalima, Not Even A Single American matches her Qualifications,
    She was Kidnapped along with her 3 children, By the FBI from Karachi, With Help of Our Government Alleging Connection with Al-Qaeda.
    During her long stay in US no terrorism incident happened by herself.

    @Zaka: Well the story was broken not by you (Fasi Zaka), it was Yvonne Ridley Journalist, British Journalist, who converted Islam not from your behaviour but Taliban’s attitude, revealed that prisoner no. 650 is surely Aafia & after two weeks she was arrested in a so called incident.

    Sorry Zaka, you could not do any thing just supporting US side.
    I am afraid, if anyone wanna know about the attitude by Pakistan establishment.

    Visit there:
    http://www.express.com.pk/epaper/PoPupwindow.aspx?newsID=1101054787&Issue=NP_LHE&Date=20100918

    Instead of criticizing her, did anyone know, that Dr. Aafia bought a piece of land near Karachi, and announced an educational and science project where Islamic scholars of International standard would be made.
    As the the base of this project of was Islamic, so, Musharraf shocked of this project. This is the same Aafiaa Siddiqui, of which Noam Chomsky said that wherever Aafia would go, she will change the system. And Musharraf became haunted from Chomsky’s sentence.
    I am sorry but people should realize on the ground what is happening around there instead of believing what is US & Paki government saying.Recommend

  • Haris Chaudhry
    Sep 29, 2010 - 4:06AM

    @ Pakistani – You need to take a ‘chill-pill’ and stop waffling nonsense.

    There are no ‘accusations’ for the sake of accusations. US could find tens of thousands of “innocent” muslims and Pakistani women within US to convict, if it wants. The fact is that Aafia with her very very colourful and Al Qaeda linked past has never been truthful about her whereabouts in Afhanistan and her family has been unbelievably silent.

    You listen to Zaid Hamid too much !! In the eyes of law, Aafia is a criminal. Stop blabbering nonsensical crap. She deserves to be in jail for her crime and Pkaistan is much more better without the likes of her ilk and Jihadists.Recommend

  • hani
    Sep 29, 2010 - 5:41AM

    I would have dubbed this article fair and honest if only it was not based on the pretext that Al-Qaeda was responsible for 9\11 and other such attacks.What evidence do we have that it was Al-Qaeda except for the phony videos of osama-bin-laden?? on the contrary all the evidence suggests that it was an inside job. In such a situation is it ok to believe that anyone associated with Al-Qaeda is a terrorist or an accomplice to terrorism?? Recommend

  • Inam ur rehman
    Sep 29, 2010 - 9:25AM

    Drones bring down my Nations Sovereignty every day, Our P.H.Ds sold out and are given life imprisonment, our city’s peace hijacked, with Rangers & Police only good at posing! if at all, My Railway in shambles my airlines in tatters, with bureaucrats burning our sweat and blood in their rather lavish cars, which have GP written at their back, i wonder if that means: Gotta Plunder ;)
    Did someone say Beghairat Brigade? fasiRecommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Sep 29, 2010 - 9:30AM

    Al Qaida is a typical mind set which persists in every second person in our country. Logic or reason is never applied with proper evidence. People and Political Parties here always goes after popular sentiments no matter whether they have any truth in it or not. Educating the people on issues of deep concern are never highlighted properly. Simply playing with the sentiments of the sentimental population. Unless our Political/Religious Parties starts speaking truth with “One Voice” on real issues and stop all types of point scoring that will be exactly the first day to move forward in a respectful way. We are the only nation in the world who is fond of pointing fingers at each other rather than coming up with some sort of “Collective Wisdom”.Recommend

  • yaz
    Sep 29, 2010 - 10:53AM

    “Excuse me” to all those who are asking us to respect judgment of the court. It’s a court decision made by human beings, not an order of Allah that cannot be challenged. I am surprised by the comments of our “pseudo elites” who think it was a fair trial and fair sentence. Even their own media and human right organizations are not convinced.

    Simply put, if she’s an AlQaeda agent, she should have been charged as such. Nothing more nothing less. Recommend

  • Nasr
    Sep 29, 2010 - 11:09AM

    No body knows if she is innocent yet thousands are on streets everyday to hold protests for her release, a minister told a talk show the government gave $2 million to defence lawyers in Aafia’s case, TV anchors and news papers giving their own verdict without knowing facts. A very unfortunate nation we are…defending an extremist and spending millions of dollars of public money while millions and millions in the country are suffering because of terrorism, target killings, natural disasters, poverty, political crises…..are we insane? Recommend

  • Inam ur rehman
    Sep 29, 2010 - 12:26PM

    Truth of the moment is simple! and very easy for everyone to comprehend! we must all condemn America for holding her trial and putting her behind the bars for 86 years! because of just ONE BASIC FACT, they can not hold a trial of a citizen of any other nation, so acquittal is not even a matter to be discussed!
    She is not a US citizen, which too is falsely told but the perpetrators of this whole conspiracy and let me also tell you WHY they would never let her go, even though they knew exactly that neither could they hold her trial nor did she commit a crime punishable to this extent, because if they let her go now, world will get to see the true face of the west and specially Americans and what they do with women in the name of interrogation. Do we even need to debate on the fact why abu gharib and guantanamo bay was shut down? by Obama administration itself? and what all they did there was a slap on the face of humanity! So Dr. Afia is paying a price, while american cover up for their war crimes.Recommend

  • Mehmood Zafar
    Sep 29, 2010 - 12:46PM

    Fasi i feel sorry for u that your mind got changed by International media as international mafia.

    Please donot play in the hands of Yahud o Nasara, Wakeup, u r very educated and intellectual person be realistic.

    Just by assumptions and things like this she is being convicted.

    We support afia as she is innocent and she is victim of mass torture like many muslims in Afghanistan.

    USA is criminal and they r sole responsible for 100000s of muslims in Iqaq and Afghanistan.

    CIA in cooperation with Raw has planned full distruction of Pakistan and no one know who whill be next afia

    Donot make things complexRecommend

  • Pakistani
    Sep 29, 2010 - 3:34PM

    Author: Nasir
    Comment:
    I want to correct some misconceptions about Dr. Aafia is nationality. She was offered green card when she was studying in US, but she refused the nationality. While her children born in US, got nationality as it was due. But Dr. Aafia is st…ill Pakistani citizen.
    I don’t know why some mindset of people don’t realize about the accomplishment regarding Dr. Aafia.
    She having 144 Honors degrees, diplomas and certificates in Neurology from different Institutes of the World.
    The only neurologist in the world has an Honorary PHD from Harvard University.
    She is a Hafiz-e-Quraan, ‘Aalima, Not Even A Single American matches her Qualifications,
    She was Kidnapped along with her 3 children, By the FBI from Karachi, With Help of Our Government Alleging Connection with Al-Qaeda.
    During her long stay in US no terrorism incident happened by herself.

    @Zaka: Well the story was broken not by you (Fasi Zaka), it was Yvonne Ridley Journalist, British Journalist, who converted Islam not from your behaviour but Taliban’s attitude, revealed that prisoner no. 650 is surely Aafia & after two weeks she was arrested in a so called incident.

    Sorry Zaka, you could not do any thing just supporting US side.
    I am afraid, if anyone wanna know about the attitude by Pakistan establishment.

    Visit there:
    http://www.express.com.pk/epaper/PoPupwindow.aspx?newsID=1101054787&Issue=NP_LHE&Date=20100918

    Instead of criticizing her, did anyone know, that Dr. Aafia bought a piece of land near Karachi, and announced an educational and science project where Islamic scholars of International standard would be made.
    As the the base of this project of was Islamic, so, Musharraf shocked of this project. This is the same Aafiaa Siddiqui, of which Noam Chomsky said that wherever Aafia would go, she will change the system. And Musharraf became haunted from Chomsky’s sentence.
    I am sorry but people should realize on the ground what is happening around there instead of believing what is US & Paki government saying.Recommend

  • Kamal Hussain
    Sep 29, 2010 - 5:42PM

    She is serving the sentence for what she has done but her sister is cashing on her miseries.Recommend

  • Asad Jamil(mps)
    Sep 29, 2010 - 6:02PM

    may ALLAH know wats the truth behind all this,but every charge by America on Afia looks ambiguous and yet there is no any solid proof that she is connected with Al Qaida, so the doubt of benefit shoud be given to her and being Pakistani we should have sympathies to her.Recommend

  • Karim Khan
    Sep 29, 2010 - 10:36PM

    This is a very sound and balanced analysis. I totally agree. You need to write things like these very often to show the people the real picture.Recommend

  • Majority
    Sep 29, 2010 - 10:58PM

    This story has no beginning and no ending, gets more interesting all the time. Even a writer cant write a mystery like Aafia’s.

    Great Future books, movies, fiction, events to come on this great beginning of a fine mystery.

    Stay Tuned.Recommend

  • K A Sultan
    Sep 30, 2010 - 12:14AM

    Aafia has given the politicos a very nice opportunity to blow their trumpet. She is from MIT and has been sentenced by a ‘Gora’ judge, had she been from Toba Tek Singh and sentenced as blatantly by a lowly sessions judge; would we have created the same halla bulla. There are thousands of miscarriage of justice cases in Pakistan and nobody cares. Study any blasphemy case in the lower courts and you will understand my comment. Recommend

  • Dr. Altaf ul Hassan
    Sep 30, 2010 - 3:15AM

    What a tragedy it is that, on one side, all efforts are being spent by the pro-right elements of this country,the media and the honourable judiciary to convict Shaheed Benazir Bhutto in Swiss cases (infact President Zardari was co-accussed in these cases) even after her assasination simply on the basis of accusations without having proved her guilty in any court of law during her life time which she spent through-out facing “kangroo courts ” while undermining all her priceless efforts to restore democracy in this country but, on the other side, a profiled al-qaida activist is being declared ‘ heroine ‘ even after being convicted in a court of law. More importantly,this is being done at a time when PPP is in power. Will tomorrow they do the same hue and cry for Faisal Shehzad also?

    And what a paradox that it is being desired so strongly by the same elements on the basis of propaganda alone to get a verdict of conviction from the Swiss courts against the sitting President of Pakistan but the similar verdict of conviction from a US court against an al-qaida terrorist is being denied!Recommend

  • Zameer
    Sep 30, 2010 - 3:17AM

    Even if anyone has ever seen TV shows like Law & Order, you’d know better than to question this trial. Okay, the sentencing judge went overboard and ignored the jury’s recommendations and dished out an 86 year sentence. But this is quite normal for people accused of multiple crimes. You get convicted and sentenced on each count. Also, the jury has to believe that there was guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Jurors are selected impartially. There’s 12 of them. Not all of them can be biased and therefore issue a unanimous verdict. If even one disagrees, the jury is hung. This process has worked well for a majority of cases. And prosecution only presents those charges that they can prove beyond reasonable doubt. So they went with the charge of the attempted shooting and what not. As for her defense lawyer, she has a right to fire that lawyer if she believes he is not representing her best interest and the court will appoint another one. She must have been satisfied with the lawyer to let the case proceed. At the end of the day, she got a trial and if she had a strong defense with her 144 honorary degrees, she was smart enough to have presented it herself, even if her court appointed lawyer was incompetent. It seems to me that this is just a case of being caught for a crime that was different from the crime you intended to commit, but it has prevented her from committing more crimes. Sad for her that she chose a path that led her to this fate. Allah will be her final judge. While she is in this world, she has to live within the laws and regulations that apply to all human beings.Recommend

  • Sep 30, 2010 - 6:08AM

    What an unemotional, balanced piece of writing… Recommend

  • Asmat Jamal
    Sep 30, 2010 - 10:14AM

    MQM has also joined the bandwagon of Aafia Mafia. Their rally to declare “AFIA” the daughter of Pakistan and @Saad Durrani mentioned than Faisal be declared as son of the nation. Probably ethnicity came the way of MQM leader, other wise both have done the same act. Recommend

  • Dr. Altaf ul Hassan
    Sep 30, 2010 - 11:07AM

    What a tragedy it is that, on one side, all efforts are being spent by the pro-right elements of this country,the media and the honourable judiciary to convict Shaheed Benazir Bhutto in Swiss cases (infact President Zardari was co-accussed in these cases) even after her assasination simply on the basis of accusations without having proved her guilty in any court of law during her life time which she spent through-out facing “kangroo courts ” while undermining all her priceless efforts to restore democracy in this country but, on the other side, a profiled al-qaida activist is being declared ‘ heroine ‘ even after being convicted in a court of law. More importantly,this is being done at a time when PPP is in power. Will tomorrow they do the same hue and cry for Faisal Shehzad also?
    And what a paradox that it is being desired so strongly by the same elements on the basis of propaganda alone to get a verdict of conviction from the Swiss courts against the sitting President of Pakistan but the similar verdict of conviction from a US court against an al-qaida terrorist is being denied and ridiculed !Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Sep 30, 2010 - 1:09PM

    It seems majority of people commenting here are from USA, where the only truth is which media portrays. nothing more , nothing less.
    When USA attacked and murdered 1000000 people in Iraq on drama of weapon of Mass destruction, Media portrayed and every one was convinced that Iraq was guilty and really had WMD but actually it was all because of Iraq’s Oil and Dick Cheney’s Personal interest.

    In UN american proofed with pictures that Iraq was building WMD but actually every thing was a lie and fake.

    Well we are not earning our bread and butter in US and we do not have to pay taxes to them and we do believe in US credibility.

    Abdul Qadeer Khan, a Pakistani Nuclear Scientist was also falsely accused of helping Iran in Building WMD by Pro- American dictator “General Busharaf” but later it was narrated be the scientist himself that he was forced to give wrong statement.

    Insha Allah in near Future ” Aafia Siddiqui” will return Home and narrate the whole truth herself. Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Sep 30, 2010 - 1:13PM

    correction
    “and we do NOT believe in US credibility.Recommend

  • Tehsin Shah
    Sep 30, 2010 - 2:33PM

    Fasi your thoughts always fascinate me. The most interesting portion for me is her children who are not allowed to come in front of media. By the way have you watched the press conference of her mother and sister, that worth tears at least.Recommend

  • Arif
    Sep 30, 2010 - 6:56PM

    Fasi is expert in writing fictitious stories
    Keep it up

    but u should write x men part 4Recommend

  • hani
    Sep 30, 2010 - 7:22PM

    Mr Fasi Zaka as far as i understand u have taken the stance that we’re not aware of the truth so i think its time you addressed the beghairat brigade. i understand that in no way u implied in your article that Dr. Afia was convicted rightly or she IS a terrorist. Recommend

  • SAZ
    Oct 1, 2010 - 12:34PM

    She is a neuroscientist with ties to Al-Qaeda right? Brainwashing people/children into becoming suicide bombers… can there be a link here??? Recommend

  • Umar Hashmi
    Oct 1, 2010 - 12:59PM

    Irrespective of the fact whether she had links with Al-qaeda or if she was totally innocent, she deserved a fair and judicious trial. There are questions around how she has been tried and without being partisan, I can say that things have not been transparent. Having doubts on the way this trial was held, it looks more like an implication rather than justice served. Pakistan, as a country, should have defended its citizen at least by ensuring that a fair trial was conducted.

    Now protesting political and religious groups should have formed a team of legal experts to support her during the trial. But no one did anything and now we are shouting and protesting!Recommend

  • Abdul Rahman
    Oct 1, 2010 - 5:06PM

    i don’t know nothing about her innocence the only thing that bothers me is that why we gave every thing to US whatever they ask for if she is a Pakistani citizen should be in Pakistan whatsoever or the case should be held under the law of the location of crime who hell is US to manipulate things and torture our womens and throw bombs on our land, why our gov give away our honor our rulers are like they don’t have any idea about us forces entering our land bombing our people, why the army is so quite on this don’t they have any equipment which can identify if some plane crosses our borders, its not only about Dr. Afia and her innocence its about our dignity which is no more left i guess Recommend

  • AAK
    Oct 1, 2010 - 5:43PM

    Yes, i agree with you on that politicians and media have used this issue for their own interests, like so many other issues. Some of the general public may support her out of ignorance, thinking she is innocent. Some, including me, are against her being prosecuted because we totally do not buy this idea of war on terror. I think of this whole WOT, including fall of WTC, as a pre-planned drama to ensure supremacy of a couple of nations. The author, and anyone who shares the idea, is naive in believing that all these bomb blasts through out Pakistan and the terrorists sitting in north-west of our country are either Al-Qaeda or any jihhadi’s for that matter. These are foreign funded groups operating for their own interests. The same media which we blame for distorting information is responsible for creating perceptions of the majority that there actually is a WOT going on.Recommend

  • Abdur Rehman Maani
    Oct 2, 2010 - 6:14AM

    Well i really do not know how to react after reading your point of view but one thing is for sure and that truth is just not a classic melody which is enjoyed by everyone but its a hard throne to swallow. You have pointed out really valid point as it can definitely be the second side of the coin but its still full of doubts for a person like me who does not know how many angles can reality has.
    Reality and lie have the same input but in opposite direction i mean extremes are different so whatever our so called responsible Media portrays we are destined to accept that in its spirit and letter. Such a situation is really alarming and believe you me that is just due to lack of education in our society.
    I am bound to contradict to one of your assertion about the imprisonment of Dr. Afia in the United States. As you yourself have mentioned that she is a Pakistan National so here i am of the view that she must be tried here in Pakistan. Since we claim the war against terror is our war for survival then her repatriation is quite the need of justice. Pakistani Judiciary is now free from any influence and there is rule of law in our homeland so she’ll be getting justice here not in a foreign land.
    If she would be found guilty for having links with any of the terrorist entity, she must be hanged till death but the question is if she would be found guilty.
    So in a nut shell, It has been become a complex and ambiguous case that must be solved are then resolved.Recommend

  • kalim
    Oct 2, 2010 - 12:33PM

    i wonder at times that in our country i.e islamic republic of Pakistan there are alot of people convicted wrongly for no reason and serving their sentence behind the bars….
    why dont we condemn this or do anything for them???
    or is it necessary that we have to come out for prople only once some political party is milking the issue???Recommend

  • Harris
    Oct 2, 2010 - 8:43PM

    Zaka, Al-Qaeda is a hoax, and this is not me, its the English media, so the SWEET ending of yours is simply the hypocrisy manifested in you.Recommend

  • Ovais
    Oct 3, 2010 - 7:03AM

    Your analysis is as baseless and without facts as portrayed by the so called Ghairat Brigade. Whether she has links to AlQaeda (even if that exists) or not, she is innocent or guilty cannot be determined by the US courts. US is fighting a WAR in Afghanistan. And if she attacked a US soldier and was captured, she should be treated as a prisoner of war. How can you label someone who is fighting a war against US in Afghanistan as a terrorist or having links to a terrorist? Using the generic term of Taliban and branding them as all terrorists demonstrates how knowledgeable you are on the subject. The true Taliban are the local Afghanis who are fighting to liberate their nation from the aggression of the US. You should avoid writing such irresponsible articles if you do not the know the complete facts. Recommend

  • Mohsin Hijazee
    Oct 3, 2010 - 11:55AM

    Look here at Justice far and near

    Almost similar views but in a more balanced and natural way. He too is talking about the anti US sentiments being vented out in name of Afia but he also raised important questions. That’s somewhat impartial. Recommend

  • Babruk
    Oct 3, 2010 - 10:46PM

    yup, you are right. “daughter of Pakistan” may not be a good daughter but Pakistan needs to provide the ‘daughter’ support as the case seems to be dubious. And the media must be objective, it is against journalistic ethics to take sides and present her as an angel.Recommend

  • Abdur Rehman
    Oct 4, 2010 - 3:10AM

    Please see link below to see what Musharraf & Co did in Swat ?
    http://teeth.com.pk/blog/2010/10/03/extra-judicial-killings-by-pakistan-armyRecommend

  • Sumbal
    Oct 4, 2010 - 10:02AM

    Fasi Zaka, it’s about time contemporary writers learned the difference between popular writing and research. Are you quoting Khalid Mohammed here, a half-witted morsel who was so inspired by Hollywood’s Godzilla he reported that the next attack would be on Brooklyn bridge from under water? Get your facts straight.Recommend

  • samina
    Oct 4, 2010 - 5:30PM

    i am sad because all her education was wasted i wish she had utilized her education and used her knowledge in a constructive wayRecommend

  • A.R
    Oct 4, 2010 - 6:19PM

    First of all there is no proof that Aafia was an american citizen apart from being Pakistani,( I know her children are.) Even wikipedia doesnot have this info.

    Second i’ve read abt several cases within the U.S itself that they caught people or Muslims (even non-Muslim US citizens) whom they thought were somehow linked to terrorism and tortured them in their investigation units and there were reports of objectionable sexual behaviour too, BUT THEY WERE NOT TERRORISTS.

    Afia could have married the terrorists nephew (although there’s no proof) or she might have donated to a charity fund linked to Al-Qaeda (like people here donate for Jamat ud Dawa) which could have been the possible reason why Americans picked her up. Both of these reasons don’t necessitate she had links to terrorism. OR her ex-husband might hav been involved in such an activity (reminder: he was also caught for questioning after 9/11 along with dr. Aafia and both were released later) and he might hav been the one putting all the blame on her. Remember ‘America is going to pick up anyone from which she feels even 1% threat’ (this comment is not mine a report from BBC has this http://www.news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7544008.stm )

    ->OR they just caught her again from Pakistan because they thought they were not done with her investigation in America, so they needed to investigate more due to ‘revelations’ from her EX-husband.

    Also i believe many of her outbursts or coments in court indicate mental illness. But then u find many ‘intellectuals’ in Pakistan making all kinds of interesting comments and hurling ‘conspiracy theories’ as if they witnessed 911 or hav personal contacts with the Taliban (but they don’t).

    And i would also like to add that Ahmad (Aafia’s child) has testified about what happened with him in a testimony given to a US officer prior to his release (this statement was acquired by Yvonne Ridley-british jornalist-this is mentioned on Dr. Aafia’s page at wikipedia. Recommend

  • A.R
    Oct 4, 2010 - 6:27PM

    And I forgot to add that the U.S did go in Iraq for ‘WMDs’ (Weapons of Mass Destruction) but there was no such thing…all this time they had been trusting and believing what ‘CURVEBALL’ [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curveball_(informant) ]

    So it would be no surprise to me if they went after a Single woman (i.e Aafia) for NOTHING AT ALL!! When they could go after a WHOLE COUNTRY trusting a FASLE SOURCE (i.e. Curveball :) Recommend

  • J
    Oct 6, 2010 - 4:02PM

    If we look at the recent history of CIA-trained ‘assets’ around the world, who have been used and discarded, we can add Dr.Afia’s name to the long list. Whether it was Saddam Hussein, Benazir Bhutto, Zia-ul-Haq, Osama bin Laden etc. each one of them have been used and conveniently eliminated/vilified after achieving a desired goal. It’s well-known that Dr.Afia’s case was pivotal in getting Musharraf removed, despite the dubious nature of her case and her arrest from Afghanistan. It was also surprising to me how her case suddenly died down as soon as Musharraf stepped down. Recommend

  • Oct 8, 2010 - 2:51PM

    ASALAM_E_ALIKUM

    hy Aafia mafia u are great and u do well and cool keep itRecommend

  • A.R
    Oct 8, 2010 - 3:40PM

    @ J

    Well who says that Afia’s case was pivotal in removing Musharraf???

    And what’s the proof she was arrested from Afghanistan??

    Evidence points to her arrest from Pakistan ’cause our own local news papers reported the arrest of a woman in 2003. Her child has testified about the kidnap of his and his family from within Pakistan when they were travelling in a cab.

    The Bagram prisoners have testified abt her presence there, a prisoner has even mentioned abt her in his book. Yvone Ridley’s research also shows the same.

    if we agree she was arrested frm afghanistan, then how were her children ‘arrested???” It is well known now that they have been brought back home with the personal efforts of Mr. Rahman Malik and the family was not hiding them as some people claimed.

    And then where is her youngest child??Recommend

  • Tariq
    Oct 9, 2010 - 7:19PM

    I have a new (conspiracy) theory. She seems to be an American agent indeed and is being transit-ted through this whole episode into a new life in oblivion (in US). The conduct she displayed in court, her family’s refusal to share all details and government’s game-playing etc are all indicative of her not-so-innocent background. It also points to a nexus i.e al-Qaeda and US are in the same league and in fact both are helping each other’s cause and wole world is a stupid onlooker especially we Pakistanis. All seems mysterious….Recommend

  • Wasif Syed
    Oct 10, 2010 - 12:19PM

    Dr. Aafia Siddiqui has been sentenced for 86 years and it seems less when her links to terrorism is established. It is ironic that several political parties which call themselves liberal have also jumped on to Aafia bandwagon. Mutahidda Quomi Movement, which has traditionally an anti-terrorism (debateable) stance took out a procession in her support. The people of Pakistan were amazed when Altaf Hussain announced the rally in support of an American Citizen accused of being involved in unlawful activities. One is right to think that the changed stance of MQM may be the result of the immense pressure MQM and its leadership is under after the cold blooded murder of Dr. Imran Farooq. Who is befooling the nation?Recommend

  • mateen saeed
    Oct 17, 2010 - 12:54AM

    “Catholic guilt” is our deep seeded psychological disorder because to us Islam is confined to austere living and five time prayers.Recommend

  • MUHAMMED ASHRAF GANDHI
    Oct 24, 2010 - 7:28AM

    even if v accept what the writer has said u.s has no right to prosecute aafia.can any american national be tried in pakistan. how she was transported to afg. and then to america is shameful for the then govt. this may be thoroughly investigated. the chief justice of pakistan should take suomoto actionRecommend

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