Three Women One Story: In Search Of Justice
May 10, 2011
From Socialist Pakistan News
By Dr. Fowzia Siddiqui
With 2nd May and the focus of world politics, the past months took a back seat when I saw the story of three women flash before my eyes. The solution to these events is simple but slipping from our grips as time is ticking away. I share with you three women.
First, the leader who gave her life for democracy. Her desperate e-mails claiming her life to be in danger, and the fear from those close to her all too obvious. Her soul still haunts the streets of Pakistan in search of justice.
Recently the supreme court of Pakistan overturned the convictions and freed the rapists of the second woman, who stood up against the feudal land lords and gained international fame, becoming the symbol of all the oppressed and abused women being raped day in and day out. She too is out on the streets in search of justice.
Third is a mother of three who has been sentenced to 86 years in prison for a crime she did not commit. Her trial exposed the acts of torture and coercion that civilized nations justify as national security. Her courage and dignity have made her a symbol of everyone who is secretly detained, tortured, sold, and sexually assaulted. Protecting her kidnapped children who were threatened with torture and rape if she refused to follow the orders of her captors gave her the strength to survive this ordeal. Thus she became the daughter of the nation. From within the shadows of Carswell's stone walls and iron bars she waits for justice.
You all know who I am talking about.
Our Benazir Bhutto, whose murderers still roam free.
Our Mai whose plight raised an international uproar and led to the arrest of some of the culprits. Now back to square one because of the recent court decision she is vowing to continue the fight. Dear courageous Mukhtara Mai.
Our daughter, our sister, and her story that breaks the hearts of the entire Pakistani nation, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui.
These three women come from different segments of society, but are daughters of our Pakistani soil. They have become the symbols of the justice and dignity that Pakistan needs to survive. The images of these three women have become symbols. Benazir for political murders and target killings, Mai for rape and sexual abuse, and Dr. Aafia for state sponsored terrorism.
These women are not competing stories to be cheered on by partisan fans in a grotesque sporting competition. They are different chapters of one story, the story of official injustice in the service of hiding the corruption and the incompetence and the failures of authority.
This story is a cry for justice and freedom.
When will we unite? Are we waiting for a knock at the door? That knock comes every day.
This is not about just these three women. It is not just about you or me. It is about us. Aafia has provided us with our moment for unity.
The Aafia Movement is founded on principle, not politics. Its goal is to unify the nation behind a simple cause – Bring Aafia back home with honor.
As events are demonstrating, this simple objective has become symbolic of the issues that are plaguing our nation. When we learn to rise for the honor of our daughter, we will have risen for our honor. When our leaders take Aafia seriously, they will become true leaders. When our nation unites for Aafia, we challenge stereotypes. When Muslims, Christians, Hindus, and Parsees unite for Aafia, we will tell the world that the white stripe in our flag has substance. When Pathans, Punjabis, Sindhis, Muhajirs, Baluchis and Kashmiris unite for Aafia, we demonstrate that we are one nation under God. We just need to be reminded of who we are.
When I saw all political parties lower their flags in favor of the national flag in honor of Aafia, I knew that deep down we all want to be proud of our nation. We know that getting Aafia back home will prove that when we are united we can do anything.
This is how our legacy of dignity and honor will be made. This is how we will earn respect. This is how sovereignty will become more than a slogan.This is how justice will prevail.