Nawaz Sharif asked to walk his talk on Aafia issue
In November 2008 PML-N leader had asked Gilani to take efforts for Aafia release; today opportunity awaits him to make history: Fowzia Siddiqui
This will be the 5th PrimeMinister to whom Aafia's case presented
Lahore, May 16: Some five years back Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Mian Nawaz Sharif has asked a letter to the then Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani urging him to take serious efforts to secure the release of Pakistani mother Dr Aafia Siddiqui. Though Gilani failed to summon the courage to get this honor, but today Allah, the Almighty has given opportunity to Mian Nawaz Sharif to walk his talk and make a history.
This was said by Global Aafia Movement convenor Dr Fowzia Siddiqui addressing a crowded press conference here on Thursday.
She said on November 9, 2008, Mian Sahib wrote a letter to PM Gilani which reads: “The Pakistani nation has entrusted the new government with responsibilities for present and future and along with them have come the liabilities for the preceding years. It is said that history remembers those who remember history. I would share my grief over the hushed up arrest and then illegal confinement of Dr Aafia Siddiqui who had remained in detention in Afghanistan and then was imprisoned in United States. Her family has taken the brunt of her imprisonment with bravery. Her son is undergoing the trauma of sailing through without his mother and her young daughter is still untraceable. This episode casts a slur on the image of Pakistan where one of the daughters of the nation is undergoing illegal detention is anonymous places and had been forsaken to languish in jail for several years.
“The authority of the government is heavy responsibility that puts the burden of generations upon those ascending to office. The hour calls for measures to take drastic steps to emerge out of the ocean of hopelessness and despair. The illegal and concealed confinement of Dr Aafia Siddiqui is an example of human rights violations meted out to the citizens of Pakistan on an international level. It is blackening stigma on the honor of the nation when one of its women is undergoing such despicable trauma for crimes unknown even to the trial authorities.
“This incident calls for instantaneous action…. Her case should be highlighted at United Nations as her illegal confinement is a blatant violation of human rights. It saddens me to witness the predicament of this “Pakistani female doctor who has been a hostage to an uncertain and unjust system of ironic justice, where the judge or jury is also not in existence. It falls on the shoulders of the government to highlight this plight of the Pakistani lady who has suffered the misery for crimes, which are yet to be proved. The whereabouts of her young need to be traced to reunite the entire family and to give her a wholesome life once again that is also her right.
“I am hopeful that the matter must be already under your notice and speedy steps for doing justice to Dr Aafia Siddiqui shall be taken. The government stands at the verge of a new age. The trailing challenge of the past can be taken as an opportunity for future. The unresolved issues are opportunity to show to the nation and to the world at large that when the will of the government is present for resolution of problems than no challenge is huge enough to thwart its efforts. The time calls for raising voice at the right forum. The issue is not only related to Dr Aafia Siddiqui, it is an international issue where innumerable people have been deprived of their civil and international rights due to the uncertain system of justice. This step will pave a way for hundreds of such cases to find out who holds pen to decide their fate. Your government has the somber challenge and peculiar opportunity to make history by protecting the rights of its citizens. It will bolster the tattering image of Pakistan in international community and will show a way to those held under similar circumstances.
Pakistan will emerge as a country willing to take a lead in protection of rights of its citizens. The civil rights of Dr Aafia cannot be divorced from her international rights when the latter have a direct bearing on the exercise of the former.”
Dr Fowzia said that history has given Mian Nawaz Sharif an opportunity to win the hearts and minds of Pakistanis by securing the release of Dr Aafia. It would make him a hero of the Pakistani nation and establish his statesmanship all over the world, especially in Muslim countries. She hoped that Nawaz Sharif would not spoil this historic opportunity to restore the national honor of Pakistan and Pakistanis.
She regretted that the issue of Dr Aafia Siddiqui has been lingering for a long time and Mian Nawaz Sharif would be the fifth prime minister of Pakistan who has to see that it is resolved as per the aspirations of people of Pakistan.
Dr Fowzia said the national pride and honor plays a pivotal role in progress and prosperity of nations. It is true that the economic uplift is important and to develop physical infrastructure is vital to achieve the economic independence; however, without a national pride no nation gets place in the comity of the leading nations. She said the ambitious plans of Mian Nawaz Sharif of giving Pakistan bullet trains, motorways and metro buses are good but restoring the honor of Pakistani mothers and daughters must get the top priority. She reminded that in Islamic teachings also show us that there is nothing more important than to save the honor of a woman. She said the government of the Islamic Republic of Islam should play its constitutional duty in this regard.
Issued by: Aafia Movement Pakistan