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OPF college student declines to receive award from minister



From The International News orginally posted here

Friday, January 22, 2010
By Afshan S. Khan 

In a surprising incident, a student of ‘O’ levels, Asma Waheed, declined to receive her excellence award and certificate from Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis Dr. Farooq Sattar on account of what she termed helplessness of the government in the case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui currently detained in the US. 

The incident took place at the oath-taking ceremony of the newly-elected students council members and award distribution ceremony of the OPF Girls College, F-8/2, here on Thursday.

“I want the government to bring back Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, who is the daughter of Pakistan. Her safe return to Pakistan is 100 times more important than receiving an excellence award from the federal minister. I would be a dummy if I don’t vent out my feelings towards her and her sovereignty,” she said on the stage before receiving a round of applause from the audience, comprising students, parents, faculty members and guests.

This is the third incident of this kind where students have refused to receive merit certificates from government officials on account of their political differences.

Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis Dr. Farooq Sattar said that he was happy to see the courage of the girl, who has shown her strong emotions and feelings towards Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and termed it their democratic right. 

“I am equally worried over this issue and I consider this a democratic right of people to express themselves in whatever way they feel like,” he said. He offered to take the students’ council delegation to the president, prime minister and the US ambassador for talks on Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s safe return to Pakistan.


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