KARACHI – News that an American court has found Pakistani scientist Aafia Siddiqui guilty of trying to kill US servicemen in Afghanistan drew rebuke from her family and lawmakers.
"We are not shocked by this judgment. What else could we expect from a US court," Dr Fozia Siddiqui, an elder sister of Dr Aafia, told IslamOnline.net on Thursday, February 4.
"This verdict has exposed the US judicial system, which cannot provide justice to innocent people. This is a humiliation for American nation too."
A US jury on Wednesday, Feb 3, Aafia guilty of grabbing a rifle at an Afghan police station where she was being interrogated in July 2008 and trying to gun down US servicemen.
She could face life in prison when sentenced on May 6.
"This is not a verdict. In fact, this is a slap on the face of the entire Muslim Ummah, especially Pakistan, which has been a close ally of the US in the so-called war on terror," said an emotional Fozia.
She rejects the accusations leveled at her sister.
"This is a pack of lies. Everybody knows that she was kidnapped by the Pakistani intelligence agencies at the behest of General Pervez Musharraf," insisted the sister.
"He later handed her over to Americans, who took her to Afghanistan, where she was detained and tortured for many months."
A recent report submitted by an investigation officer appointed by the government following a high court order concluded Aafia was kidnapped by FBI agents while she was on her way to Karachi airport to leave for Islamabad in 2004.
"If the government had really wanted, she would have been with us. But the government has lost this opportunity," Senator Talah told IOL.
The Siddiqui family fired their salvos at their own government, accusing it of failing to defend its own citizens.
"This all has happened because of our government, which has let down the entire nation," said DR Fozia.
She suggested Pakistan should close down supplies to the NATO troops fighting in war-ravaged Afghanistan.
"If Pakistani government today stops supplies to the NATO troops fighting in Afghanistan, my sister would be with us within next three days."
Fozia has been championing a campaign in collaboration with different political and religious parties for the release of her sister.
"We have not lost hope and will continue our efforts for her release, not only because she is our loved one, but because she is innocent."
Senator Talah Mahmood, Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Home Affairs, and head of the parliamentary committee set up by the government for Aafia’s release, was equally disappointed.
"It is a high time for the government to review its policies vis-à-vis the so-called war on terror," he told IOL.
"It was an opportunity for the government to show self-respect. But it has let down the whole nation."
Senator Talah belongs to the Jamiat Ulema Islam (JUI), a partner in the ruling coalition government.
He led a delegation that visited Aafia three months ago in New York and reported back to the government that she was mentally and physically tortured.
"If the Pakistan government had really wanted, she would have been with us. But the government has lost this opportunity," insisted Senator Talah.
"The time has come when, as a nation, we should think about what we have got in response to invaluable sacrifices in so-called war on terror."
Read more: http://www.islamonline.net/english/news/2010-02/04/02.shtml#ixzz0eahdJZcu