KARACHI: The release and repatriation of noted Pakistani woman scientist and educationalist Dr Aafia Siddiqui is possible through diplomatic channels, but her release, sadly, is not amongst the priorities of sitting Pakistani rulers, said Aafia Movement leader Dr Fowzia Siddiqui, here Monday.
Addressing a protest gathering at Karachi Press Club (KPC) on completion of 12 years of Pakistani mother Aafia in detention, she said the Americans are ready to repatriate Aafia, but the Pakistani rulers are not. She said it is a matter of difference of priorities. She recalled that Prime Minister Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif had personally promised with the mother and daughter of Aafia Siddiqui that he would soon bring Aafia back home. She regretted that perhaps due to some hidden pressure the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader was backtracking on his promise.
Dr Fowzia said that previous rulers also had declared Aafia like their sisters and daughters and promised for her release, but they too also backtracked on their pledges and promises. She said the Pakistani nation wants to know why the sitting Prime Minister, and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali were unable to fulfill their promises. What is the real hindrance in this regard, she asked. She said the people like spy agent and killer of three Pakistanis, Raymond Davis, could be released without any difficulty, but the rulers have kept a mum on the schedule of release and repatriation of Dr Aafia Siddiqui. She said the Americans are also taking all-out efforts to get freed their other agent Dr Shakeel Afridi. She asked if the present government also wanted to earn dollars to barter agent Dr Shakeel Afridi.
On the occasion, Mariam daughter of Aafia Siddiqui appealed to the prime minister and army chief to take efforts for early release of Dr Aafia on humanitarian grounds and her repatriation to Pakistan. She said she has been braving a lot of agony due to the continuous imprisonment of her mother and the prime minister should help her getting rid of this anguish by playing his role in release of her mother.
Addressing on the occasion, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Sindh naib amir Mohammad Hussain Mehnati said when the Pakistani politicians are in opposition they promise for release of Aafia, but when in power they forget her altogether. He said these rulers have saddened the nation with their gifts of price hike, lawlessness and load shedding, but they could make the nation happy by bringing back innocent Aafia.
Pasban-e-Pakistan President Altaf Shakoor said the release of Aafia is not a big deal for the Pakistani rulers and she could be brought home within a week, provided our rulers show sincerity. He regretted that our rulers instead of honoring the basic rights of Pakistani citizens are more interested in selling them out for the US dollars.
Aafia Release Committee convener, former MPA Mohammad Yunus Barai said the release of Aafia is duty and obligation of all of us. He urged the Pakistanis to play their individual and collective role in this regard.
Shamim Kazmi of Business Women Forum said the atrocities on Aafia are a blemish on the face of American society and a slap across the face of the US justice system. She demanded an early release of the Pakistani mother.
A large number of political, social, religious leaders, teachers, lawyers, civil society members and general public attended the gathering and pledged their efforts for the release of Aafia Siddiqui.
Issued by: Aafia Movement Pakistan 0322-2214092
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