'Long March' for Aafia's release from 10th

by Farehia Rehman

The Nation

ISLAMABAD – Exhibiting grave concerns over the alleged sluggishness of the PPP-led regime to get Dr Aafia Siddique released from illegal imprisonment of USA, civil society activists on Wednesday announced to launch “Long March” from 10th of March.

A series of events are in pipeline as a part of a “Long March” that would be launched from Faisalabad Bar Association. The announcement was made in a peaceful demonstration at Abpara Chowk organised by the Pakistan Professionals Forum and student community of the twin cities to condemn and convey shock and abhorrence against the unjust verdict in Dr Aafia Siddique’s case and to show solidarity with her and her family.

Dr Fauzia Siddqui, Dr Afia’ s sister was also present at the occasion along with the representatives of the Pakistan Professionals Forum, Defence of Human Rights (DHR) and the civil society activists. Peoples belonging to all walks of life including doctors, engineers, lawyers, academicians, students, and other professionals also massively participated in the demonstration and rejected, in unequivocal terms, the illegal detention and conviction of Dr Aafia Siddiqui by NY court. The demo was held during rain. Participants on the occasion vehemently condemned her detention and appealed for efforts to secure her immediate release.

They opined that Dr Afia Siddiqui is a citizen of Pakistan and she was illegally abducted by Pakistani intelligence agencies and handed over to US authorities. Pakistan has the legal authority and jurisdiction to hear her trial and decide her fate, if she has ever committed a crime. Handing her over to US authorities is a gross violation of the constitution of Pakistan and an insult to the judicial system in Pakistan and the nation as a whole.

They also said that the horrifying case of Aafia Siddiqui and her three children is a glaring example of the criminal and inhuman practices of US imperialism and its ally, the Pakistani government.

While addressing the gathering, Dr Fauzia Siddqui said that the aggrieved families of the missing persons under the leadership of Amna Janjua have been waiting for the recovery of their relatives and consider that the current situation is contrary to what the government and other people from ruling parties are announcing.

She said that the Kangaroo court of New York has held Dr Aafia Siddiqui guilty for a crime that she never committed despite the fact that no fingerprints of Dr Aafia were found on the gun; neither witnesses could testify their statements.

“Abduction, illegal imprisonment, torture and rape of Dr Aafia by US forces is insult of national integrity, dignity and sovereignty of 170 million Pakistani people,” she noted.

She maintained that government of Pakistan has not made sincere efforts to get Dr Aafia released from illegal imprisonment of USA during last two years.

She urged the leading political parties of Pakistan and their leaders, particularly, Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif to put their act together and make sincere efforts beyond making press statements for immediate repatriation of Dr Aafia to her family in Karachi, otherwise nation would not forgive them forever.

In her address Amna Masood Janjua, Chairperson Defence of Human Rights (DHR) and wife of one of the missing persons Masood Janjua said that they demand that government of Pakistan should immediately withdraw its cooperation with US in so-called war on terror and ban all transit supplies of US and NATO armed forces to Afghanistan from Pakistan.

“Dr Aafia is daughter of Pakistan and her return to Pakistan is very vital issue, and government must take immediate steps for safe recovery of all the missing persons including Dr Aafia,” she noted.

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