Altaf calls for proof against Aafia

MQM chief urges the US to provide evidence regarding the accusation that Dr Aafia fired at US soldiers.


Express September 28, 2010

KARACHI: In an impassioned speech, MQM Chief Altaf Hussain has said that Dr Aafia Siddiqui has become a "symbol of pride"  for the Pakistani nation. The MQM chief urged the US government to provide evidence regarding the accusation that Dr Aafia fired at US soldiers and injured them. He asserted that people were aware of the false nature of allegations levelled against Dr. Aafia.

Addressing a protest rally organised by the MQM in Karachi, Hussain said that Siddiqui showed great bravery and courage during her trial in the US. He stated that it is the US government that deserves punishment for killing thousands of innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Last week, a federal court in Manhattan sentenced Dr Aafia Siddiqui to 86 years of imprisonment for the attempted murder of US officers in Afghanistan. This ruling resulted in a strong reaction by segments of Pakistani society, with protests led by Dr Aafia's family and politicians who staged a protest walk-out from Parliament.

Divided opinion

Various voices in Pakistan have criticised and sympathised with Dr Aafia since the sentence.

The Aafia mafia

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. Fasi Zaka

Untouchable Aafia

The Jamaatis who would want their women in purdah and left uneducated, barefoot, pregnant and most certainly not in the lab, are in the forefront because they are aligning the Aafia case with Islamophobia. Can they ensure that she will get justice in her home country? Isn’t it possible that Aafia is the ‘war booty’ for some crumbs America is throwing the way of Pakistan? Farzana Versey

Why 86 years in prison?

It appears that in Aafia’s case, the discretion exercised by the judge in sentencing Aafia undermined the objectives of US lawmakers to have uniformity, predictability and transparency in the criminal justice process in America. By characterising the offences as terrorism, the judge elevated Dr Aafia’s criminal history and offence-level category to a much higher level. Unfortunately, it appears that while applying this enhancement, due process of law was also not followed. Rana Sajjad Ahmed

Injustice for Dr Aafia once again

To me, it seems, Aafia was convicted beforehand and the burden of proof was placed on the defence. The nickname ‘Lady al-Qaeda’ is a testament to that. Remember, it’s innocent until proven guilty not guilty until proven innocent. Terrorists who kill innocent people should be sent to the gallows but the search for revenge should not be turned into a witch-hunt. Shaukat Hamdani

What Dr Aafia protests mean for Muslims

The fact that Aafia was kept in jail for so long and eventually given this sentence clearly indicates what the US is intending to do. I fear it is trying to cause havoc in the Muslim world by instigating them to come out on the streets and vent their anger by burning and detroying vehicles and property. The rest is left to the western media to portray Muslims as aggressive, violent, intolerant and extreme. Hina Baig

Unwarranted hysteria for ‘Pakistan’s Daughter’

Now Aafia has been sentenced to 86 years imprisonment which I think is harsh. Considering the charges she faced, a 30 years sentence seems more appropriate. But she should be reckoned as a prisoner and the public should have no sympathy for her. In my opinion it is also wrong to call her the ‘Daughter of Pakistan’ as she has done no good for the country. Anas Abbas

Dr Aafia deserved what she got

In my opinion, the decision has been served. Now the nation should move on and not indulge in activities that will embarrass Pakistan on an international level. Blaming America for the chaos in Pakistan will not serve any purpose. Their judicial system is very strong, focused and transparent. The decision was what Dr Aafia deserved. Had Americans wanted to kill her they wouldn’t have brought her to the courts, provide her with legal counsel and allowed the media to cover the trial. Tanzeel Ahmad


COMMENTS (7)

A True Pakistani | 11 years ago | Reply http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story1-11-2004pg7_47 Read the news about Aafia Siddiqui... dated 01 November 2004...... Daily times archive..
Ishaq | 11 years ago | Reply A politician who talks about Revolution and he himself is hiding in foreign country like a rat for many years is raising finger on American Court's decision?. Is this a joke?
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