ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) expressed concern on Sunday over the US government's prisoner swap agreement with Pakistan, which called for a release of Shakil Afridi in exchange for the release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui.
Afridi helped the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) hunt down Osama Bin Laden after which he was sentenced to 33 years in prison last year in May for his links to a banned militant group.
Aafia was sentenced to 86 years on September 23, 2010 after she was found guilty on seven counts, including attempted murder. She is currently being held at an American maximum security prison in Fort Worth, Texas. According to US prosecutors, the day after her arrest, she grabbed an M-4 rifle in her interrogation room and started shooting while yelling “death to America.”
The PTI press release said that there are "serious issues" with accepting the conditions laid down by the US for the release of Aafia.
The US government's conditions to release Aafia dictates that Pakistan accept that she is a terrorist and should complete the remainder of her life sentence in Pakistan.
Moreover, the conditions state that Pakistan should accept that her trial in the US was fair and justified.
The PTI statement said that these conditions were unacceptable and hoped that the government would not accept any conditions forcibly asked for by the US government. It pointed out that US is under strong congressional pressure to seek the release of Afridi, who is termed "a collaborator of illegal US activities in Pakistan".
The PTI added that if the prisoner swap agreement is to work it should not be based on any conditions.
"If the US insists on them, then there should a mutual agreement to label the swapped prisoners as 'terrorists' or 'traitors'".
Calling the US trial and conviction biased, the PTI release said that even though the people of Pakistan are eager for Aafia to return, they do not want to accept her as a terrorist simply at the behest of the US.
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@Observer: Dear Observer, I do not recall reading or replying to any of your commentss other than the one you addressed to me personally. Perhaps I am having a clouded moment, but in any event would be grateful if you could elaborate. .
Carefully read my post again. I think you missed my point.
@truthbetold: Swearing allegiance to ones country does not mean obeying the orders of every inept or criminal politician or official.
@naeem khan Manhattan,Ks:
"Read my comments with cool head and you will find we are pretty much for Pakistan’s well being and it’s security, after all we were born in Pakistan and still have families and love for our birth place, in my case it is Mardan."
You were supposed to take an oath that you would be "for the USA's well-being and security". So, you lied?
@unbelievable: if you remember, the Raymond Davis case was not published in world media for the most of the time it went on. However, pakistani media did report it...lets not get caught in our inferiority complex with the west, and use it to be unreasonably biased against Pakistan and it's interests.
ET rephrase your survey question please! it should have been something like this: do we want aafia back? yes or no?
@Ahmed Bilal: It is not American Pakistani but we are Pakistani Americans and we don't support blindly any thing the US does. Read my comments with cool head and you will find we are pretty much for Pakistan's well being and it's security, after all we were born in Pakistan and still have families and love for our birth place, in my case it is Mardan.
@Ace: Raymond Davis was made to follow your Sharia blood money laws.
@Aimal: Aia has been tried in US per due process of law and is in jail. There is no US dictation involved. T is Pakistan that is asking for her release and US is stating terms of release from US jail. It is upto Pakistan to accept or decline. In either case there is no dictation. @Tanweer: The Pakistani government followed shariah laws of blood money that the survivors of people killed by Raymond Davis willingly accepted.
http://goo.gl/o9PnB pls read & then comment
The Pak Establishment will never go for this Afia for Afridi exchange due to many reasons.
First, the Establishment's hue and cry on Afia is all phony and only meant for domestic propaganda.
On the other hand, Afridi is a lot more valuable to the Establishment. They are hoping to get billions of dollars in exchange for releasing Afridi. It is a no-brainer.
It is disconcerting to read so many missives stating that Dr. A Siddiqui is a terrorist. Dr. Siddiqui was illegally arrested by the US, and after torturing and generally inflicting unspeakable atrocities upon her they could not find any evidence to prove that she was a terrorist, so they came up with the ridiculous charge that this diminutive women had attacked her burly torturers. The New York trial was not a fail trial, and so much evidence was ignored that it became a complete travesty of justice. However, they are very much aware that Dr. S. Afridi committed treason and although they are good at bluff their poker hand is not strong. Additionally, Pakistan was very generous in handing over Mr. Raymond Davis an undisputed killer of two Pakistanis. The US will fight and scream to the end, but they owe Pakistan, and they could hardly expect Pakistan to accept Dr. A. Siddiqui as a terrorist when the US has not made any charges of terrorism. The reason America has not charged Dr. A. Siddiqui with terrorism is because, quite simply, she is not a terrorist.
We should bargain Hussain Haqqani for Shakil Afridi instead !
Soon IK usa visa will be revoked if he and his parties are privy to terrorist sympathizing.
Agreed. This news is not being corroborated by us media. It is a special Ramadan news for pious pakistani Muslim, so they don't suffer from indigestion :)
@Raj - USA:
If god forbid she was a Shia, we Shias would have excommunicated her and deemed her a satanic terrorist, which she has been truly labelled. Support for her in Pakistan which is endemic is what will make Pakistan a failed state. Hope this message gets published.
If Raymond Davis can walk, then Aafia Siddiquee should be released as well.
America can't break our laws and then expect us to follow theirs.
Ya PTI is right. US should release Afia with dignity. No dectation is acceptable. It means that US wants that Pakistani govt should accept her crime on behalf of Afia. Is that make any sense.? Pakistan should not bargain in "innocent vs criminal" good step by PTI
@Mubashir: "Our politicians shall once again enter into an agreement which allows them to hand over any Pakistani to their Foreign Lords." Afia was handed over to the US not by any politician but the army ruler Gen Mush. He had also handed over our air force bases and allowed drone strikes. Of course once the agreements are made and paid for no new Pakistani ruler would dare cancel those. Regards, M
The facts are Afia is related to top terrorists and has been tried and presented in an open court where she has shown defiance and no remorse. While Afridi's crime has been to help unmask the presence of worst terrorist OBL in an army base. The lovers of Al-Qaida love foreign citizen Afia while the haters of Al-Qaida love OBL's killing and Afridi. Afia is convicted in her own country in open court for 86 years, while Afridi in a secret court for 33 years. The swap of almost three times longer term is favorable to Afiaa and her Pakistani lovers yet they want this foreign terrorist released in our safe havens. Foreign nationals of good moral character cannot contest elections in Pakistan but can be welcomed in our land of pure.
@Ahmed: I have gone through the entire article. She has been praised for her personnel nature and work done for propagation of Islam. But nowhere we are enlightened as to why the charges against her for collaborating with religious extremists / Al Qaeda could be wrong. Her character may be impeccable but that is not under discussion. In fact her pious character and her exceptional sympathy for Muslim causes may have tripped her to cross the red line. Why do we confuse issues.
I think media should simply ignore statement from filthy and crazy PTI!!
OMG, PTI is so stupid
Why would Dr. Aafia apply for a US citizenship when US is such a Devil? Why would she not denounce US citizenship if it is only later she realised US is such a devil? Selective Morality curse.
The USA is going to release a bonafide bad guy to a country with a reputation of harboring/enabling bad guys based on a promise that it will keep the bad guy in jail. Yeah right. Written by anyone except "web desk" you would think someone was trolling. The terms naive and gullible do come to mind.
@Mohammad: Allah is always ready and willing to help, but righteous believers have become an extinct species.
Only PTI chair can go to western countries and attend parties with their elites, while his party issues statements like this.
Some tell Miss Mazari that US is not offering to release Dr Aafia. They are talking about extradition. Huge difference there is.
Thank god she is just a politician not a think tank.
Afia Siddiqi is a terrorist and deserves the sentence she is handed, to send her to Pakistan is confirming the idea that terrorist are celebrated in Pakistan also Pakistan has received billions from the US which is being shared by the corrupt political leaders. After the shameful hiding of Osama Bin Laden there are few cards that Pakistan can pull, what America wants they get so the pitiful prostest is just that,,,,,remember beggars cannot be choosers!
Dr Shakil Arfidi should never be released and allowed to be a success story in USA, otherwise this would be an incitement for many others to spy for them and be rewarded.
Taliban Khan's agenda: free all the terrorists so their feelings dont get hurt. LOL. The rest of pakistan including the shias, ahmadis, hindus etc can face the music of : "aik dhamaka he to hua hay, konsi qayyamat aa gae hay" Aik afia he ko to pakra hay, konsi qaayamat aa gae hay?
Afridi be hanged immediately.
Two Pakistanis getting free whats the problem ? i don't get it Pti, its no time to pull stunts to get famous.
First of all, who cares? Second of all, are they now supporting convicted terrorists?
shakeel afridi is of no use to pakistan now.but dr.afia can tell us many things and secrets about the US and their brutal treatments with muslim prisoners in america.
Rubbish - USA has no incentive to release Aafia Siddiqui - no newspaper outside of Pakistan is carrying this story - appears to be a "made in Pakistan" article. Further - what motive would the USA have to release Siddiqui? Why would the USA release Siddiqui on a promise by Pakistan - especially after OBL and lets not forget that Pakistan broke it's promise to keep released Guantanamo Bay prisoners under travel restrictions and surveillance. In short - the USA has no reason to trust anything Pakistan says. Bottom line - bogus article.
@Humanity above has given, in my opinion, the best suggestion to solve, very satisfactorily, this long handing problem between the United States and Pakistan. Let the Islamic Republic exchange Dr. Afridi, and get our Qaum ki Beti back. Both countries can then release their respective hero and heroine, and they can live happily ever after in the US and Pakistan, and get on with their lives...bringing peace and tranquility to all our mullahs, Islamic parties and of course the PTI and PMLN who have been clamoring for the return of our Qaumi Beti. Who knows, after being resettled in our Holy Republic, she may even get elected to the National Assembly on a reserved women's seat offered by the PTI or PMLN, or perhaps even become Malika (i.e. permitted fourth wife) of the exalted and divine Emir Hakimullah Mehsud, undisputed leader of the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan.
@naeem khan Manhattan,Ks: I usually don't find your comments so smart, but, here I gotta agree because even you sound sensible.
I appalled at the pro American stance given in ll the above comments. Then I realized there are a lot of "American Pakistani" leaving their comments here. All the biased remarks against Dr. Afia Siddique started to make sense. I say to these "Americans", look in to your own souls and tell yourselves if you genuinely have the best intentions of Pakistan inn your hearts. I don't even understand why people who have gone away for greener pastures even have a say in the matter of the country they have left behind. We cannot blatantly and blindly accept USA's biased judgement and torture of Dr Afia. Her statements and confessions could just have been a result of drug use and other interrogative techniques. Why not all possibilities be explored. Why conditions are being set. No people would rather judge all this in light of PTI and PMLN nd USA and Pakistan. You folks really have some confused priorities.
@Ali: yes they must be...because they came out to support something different than what you believe.
Aafia should be executed. This will show to the world that we have very strict rules against terrorists. Even all Indian based terrorists like dawood ibrahim, hiding in Karachi, mufti salahuddin etc should be shot or executed in public. Terrorism will go down then.
My question is: would Pakistanis been so supportive of Afia had she been a shia? Whether she would have become part of terror group had she been a shia, is another discussion.
Hate for the US will make them love a psychopathy, a woman who deserted her children, has proven ties to terrorists and also is a self proclaimed terrorist. They call her the daughter of Pakistan who has given Pakistan nothing but a bad name. You can easily see where is country is headed with this mentality. So filled with hate that they have lost sight of right and wrong.
She is US citizen and they should keep her and do with her whatever theirr laws permit / require. Pakistan is no safe haven for any terrorists including the Americans.
ET, please. Why PTI stance, wheres govt ?
Although I supported PTI for their manifesto and I have lot of respect for Dr.Mazari but in this case her party and hers stand is completely bonkers. Aafia's sentence has been excessive but she has openly confessed to be involved in certain activities which is rather lethal to the State of Pakistan. I think let the US keep her there and pay for her up keep, Pakistan does not need more of the same people, they already have too many of them. Now about Dr.Afridi, sure, he has damaged the polio vaccination program in Pakistan but look around you how many Pakistanis are on American payroll in Pakistan. But really who has failed the State Security System, those are still occupying high paying jobs with mega-perks. Did anyone resign or fired by that weak PPP government, no , they don't have the decency to quit their jobs and have some respect for the nation. How much money is being spent on Security outfits and yet they failed to detect a wanted criminal living in the Cantonment area of Abbottabad or were they in cahoots with him. Dr.Mazari, do have any idea how much damage OBL has done to the Muslims around the world and specially to us Pakistani Americans and above all how many innocent people were killed and jumped from burning Twin Towers. There is no doubt that Americans have committed atrocities around the world in the name of self interest and security but who's fault is that, why Americans are even allowed to interfere in Pakistan's internal affairs. ask these questions from the Elite and the Establishment in Pakistan.
Afia Siddiqi had a free and fair trial where none of her supporters bothered to testify in her favor. However PTI and other mullahs will continue to play politics with this issue.
Don't bring her our jails are already are capacity :/
Before anyone talks about how shes terrorist or an extremist(like her ex-husband said) please read about her story in the link below.
Making emotive statements, on unconfirmed statements. Just more sound bites.
This is a fair bargain, for the tax payers. After the exchange, set them free. Aafia will find out how the qaum treats her beti and the qaum will find out if she is or is not a terrorist.
Dr. Aftidii can practice medicine in the US, and send much needed foreign exchange to Pakistan
Both sides are better off and happy..
Appalling !!!! A senior PTI ... With so many bigger and serious issues facing pakistan like corruption, economic development, civic services .. PTI and vast majority of people in pakistan priority is murders and terrorist .. What a misled nation we are
Raymond Davis should have been held by the government of Pakistan after the double murder of innocent Pakistanis. If he had been charged and given custodial sentence, he could have been exchanged for Dr. Afia. But of course the weak Pakistani government gave in too easily at the time.
May Allah help the righteous believers. Ameen.
As usuall PTI would like to shake hands with terrorist and follows there party manifesto.
Why can't she be pardoned by the President and flown back to Pakistan, a free woman. Our politicians shall once again enter into an agreement which allows them to hand over any Pakistani to their Foreign Lords. With politicians like these who needs enemies from outside!
PTI always the supporters of terrorists. Afridi got a serious terrorist apprehended and yet his release is being opposed by PTI while a convicted terrorist Afia should be released according to PTI? What a joke.
Look at these men holding the placards. They look unemployed.