Dr Aafia Siddiqui- A ‘Casualty in Americas War on T ’Error’

By Majed Iqbal- ‘For you it’s just another story. If you want the truth, go to Ghazni where you will get more than I can ever tell you about my sister”

These were the words echoed by Fouzia Siddiqui, sister of Aafia Siddiqui whose story has moved the Pakistani nation in the last weeks and months and has stirred international concern over America’s new casualty in her War on Terror of which Pakistan is a Front line signatory in this campaign.

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a neuroscientist and graduate of genetics disappeared five years ago, in March 2003 along with her three children, aged 7 years, 5 years and 6 months during a visit to her mother’s house in Karachi.

It is widely suspected that she was picked up on the way to the airport by Pakistani Intelligence and handed over to the FBI who believed her to be an “Al-Qaeda operative” and that she was yet another Pakistani citizen handed over to the Americans by the Musharraf government in exchange for money for the country or support for his leadership.

The independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has stated that she was initially picked up by an intelligence agency in Pakistan and so the “Pakistan government is also accountable for the crime”.

Aafia’s resurfacing in Ghazni, five years after her disappearance in the southern port city of Karachi, has shaken the nation. The whereabouts of her three children, who were with her at the time she was kidnapped, remain unclear.

Two weeks prior to Aafia’s arrest in Ghazni, a British journalist, Yvonne Ridley, held a press conference in Islamabad, in which she identified Aafia as ‘Prisoner No. 650′, being held in solitary confinement at the detention centre attached to the U.S. air base at Bagram.

Ridley referred to the book ‘Enemy Combatant’ by Moazzam Beg, a former Guantanamo and Bagram prisoner, who had mentioned hearing endless screams, apparently by a woman being tortured, during his detention at Bagram.

A press release by the HRCP says: “A close look at the picture (in newspapers here) shows the years of torture — dark circles under her eyes, a broken and badly fixed nose, made up teeth and crumbled lips. It is a picture of a severely dehydrated and unwell person, almost as if on the deathbed. It shows the inhumane brutality of a ‘civilised’ nation by the administration of the country which claims to be civilised.”

This humiliation of Aafia did not end at Bagram. Now detained at the Metropolitan Detention Centre in Brooklyn, the authority’s stress that she be “stripped searched” – stripped naked – each and every time she wishes to meet with her attorneys, Pakistani diplomats or family members.

According to the description given by her brother, a Houston-based architect, said she was in a ‘’fragile condition and in severe pain”.

“She was suffering from multiple bullet wounds that had been not been attended to. She came to court in a wheelchair and was suffering from intense abdominal pain”

Aafia had earlier informed her lawyer that she believed part of her intestines had been removed.

Zaid Hamid, a defence consultant, heading an Islamabad-based think tank ‘Brasstacks’, saw no mystery about Aafia’s case except for the ‘’criminal betrayals and the deafening silence of our government, media and civil society about all Guantanamo prisoners, especially Pakistanis.”

Once again, an ordinary citizen of Pakistan faces the wrath of Americas War on Terror in collusion with the Pakistani Government. This War in Terror led in Pakistan has seen the disintegration of the Unity of the country, journalists and editors abducted by intelligence agencies, attempts to ban Islamic Political parties, rise in suicide bombings which were previously unheard of, humiliation of the chief architect of the nuclear program Dr A.Q. Khan in front of the world, backing military dictatorships to suit American initiatives, creating the Political climate for discredited Politicians to return to Pakistan and cause further Political chaos and the harassment and intimidation of Aafia’s family to keep matters silenced.

Dr Aafia Siddiqui has been a recent casualty in this War on Error. How many more Pakistani men and women will bear the brunt of American Interference to the Sovereignty of Pakistan?

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  1. Interview Request

    Hello Dear and Respected,
    I hope you are fine and carrying on the great work you have been doing for the Internet surfers. I am Ghazala Khan from The Pakistani Spectator (TPS), We at TPS throw a candid look on everything happening in and for Pakistan in the world. We are trying to contribute our humble share in the webosphere. Our aim is to foster peace, progress and harmony with passion.

    We at TPS are carrying out a new series of interviews with the notable passionate bloggers, writers, and webmasters. In that regard, we would like to interview you, if you don’t mind. Please send us your approval for your interview so that I could send you the Interview questions. We would be extremely grateful.


    Ghazala Khan
    The Pakistani Spectator

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