Monday, March 8, 2010

Aafia Afye Afoe Afum Again...

Aah, more on the Jamaat's and Aamir Liaquat Hussain's "qaum ki beti" (daughter of the nation). The News today carries a report culled from the New York Times of March 5 - why it took a whole two days for the The News' US correspondent to simply copy it, I have no idea. In any case, there are a couple of very interesting statements in it.

The first interesting tidbit, rightly picked up by The News as worthy of the front-page, is that Aafia Siddiqui's uncle has given a sworn affidavit that his niece visited him in January 2008, asking for help to reach the Taliban in Afghanistan. Now, this has been reported earlier in the media. However, a signed affidavit carries a little bit more legal weight than media reports. And of course it puts into complete doubt Aafia's family's contention that she had been kidnapped in 2003.

In  fact, the NYT piece also points out:

"Ms. Siddiqui’s first husband, Dr. Khan, who was questioned by Pakistani and F.B.I. officials and released, said that during Ms. Siddiqui’s disappearance, she was hiding in Pakistan. He says he saw her on two occasions."

The second bit of interesting information relates to children of Aafia Siddiqui, about whom there has been intense speculation. The NYT writes:

"[Aafia] was arrested in July 2008 in Ghazni, Afghanistan, with her eldest child, Ahmed, then 12, who told Afghan investigators they had arrived by road from Quetta, in southwestern Pakistan, two days before. … Ahmed was later sent to be with his aunt, Dr. Siddiqui. The other two children, Sulejman, 7, and Maryam, 12, remain missing, but their father says they have been seen at their aunt’s house."

If true, this would explain why Aafia's sister Fowzia Siddiqui has steadfastly refused to allow anyone to meet Ahmed or why the family does not seem to be terribly upset about the allegedly missing younger two children. Of course, the actual facts regarding the children remain to be proved.

The third interesting factoid is about Aafia's connections with Al Qaeda, which all of her supporters and family have done their best to gloss over. Aside from Aafia Siddiqui's and her family's repeatedly documented sympathies for the Taliban and the accusation that she helped open a post box in 2002 for an alleged Al Qaeda member, there is a bit of a more personal connection. From the NYT again:

"Divorced from her first husband, Dr. Muhammad Amjad Khan, the father of her three children, she married Ammar al-Baluchi, the nephew of the professed orchestrator of the Sept. 11 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, in early 2003, according to court documents filed in the United States. When the F.B.I. issued a global alert for her and her first husband in March 2003, she disappeared from her family home in Karachi, Pakistan. Her second husband, Mr. Baluchi, was arrested and is jailed at Guantánamo. Accused of a role in financing the Sept. 11 plot, he is among five detainees scheduled to be tried in the United States in the coming months in the attacks."

Wouldn't you say being related to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed through a marriage of choice - where exactly would a nice "qaum ki beti" have met someone like Ali Aziz Abdul Ali a.k.a. Ammar al-Baluchi one could be forgiven for asking Jamaat chief Munawwar Hassan - is more than a little suspicious? You want to know more about her current husband, who it turns out is also a cousin of Ramzi Yousef, the original World Trade Centre bomber? Here's some info on him.

As we said before, there is far more to this story than meets the eye. And it's about time our politicians and media charlatans stopped throwing dust in it.


AKS said...

Thank you so much for this post. I'm sick of this Qaum ki Beti crap. Now, everyone has a right to be regarded as innocent until proven guilty, but she's been proven guilty, unlike all the other people in Gitmo - which surely goes to show the strength of the case against her. Right?

Anonymous said...

Jaisi Qaum, Waisi Beti !

nayyares said...

i would wait to see what Jamaati (JUI) will do for their "beti" and Mulla Omer, Bin ladan, Imran Khan, Zaid Hamid & Dr. Amir Liaquat Bhai for their "Behan"?

completely overrated media propaganda!

give us break :-|

Vanguard said...

there is more to Aafia Siddiqui's case than meets the eye. Harper's had a very good piece on it sometime ago. Do read it when you get a chance

Tayyab Mahmood said...

For years I am preaching that we as a Nation project fictions as facts. same is the case with Dr. Aafia's case.

You might have read the following Reports in Guardian & The News, please refresh your memories:-

Guardian Report shows what might happened with Aafia,
"A senior Pakistani official, speaking on condition of strict anonymity, offered a tantalising explanation.In the world of counter-espionage, he said, someone like Siddiqui is an invaluable asset. And so, he speculated, sometime over the last five years she may have been "flipped" – turned against militant sympathisers – by Pakistani or American intelligence. "It's a very murky world," he said. "Maybe the Americans have no charges against her. Maybe they don't want to compromise their sources of information. Or maybe they don't want to put that person out in the world again. The thing is, you'll never really know."

For me Dr. Aafia is clearly involve in some-type of unlawful activity & to save her skin collaborated with CIA & ISA and then flipped side.

Khurram Ali Shafique said...

Did someone forget to put the banner "Ads from Anne Patterson" here? President Obama has already released some funds for "US-friendly media" in Pakistan, so why work for free when you can get paid, buddies? :D

Jokes apart, I do not doubt your integrity. Nice post, in some ways, BUT:

1. In all fairness, it is not only Jamaat-i-Islami but lots of international human rights groups also who are still criticizing the US handling of the case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. By trivializing this issue through some catch-phrases, Cafe Pyala might end up doing the same for which it criticizes others: presenting fiction as fact.

2. Affidavits do not carry any weight in this particular case, since the entire premise of the defense is based on questioning the truth of the affidavit submitted by far more important people than Aafia's dear old uncle :).

3. If anybody is curious about the facts of the case, Aafia's missing children, etc, then they should first demand that the US Government makes it possible for these questions to be asked of Aafia Siddiqui.

4. Besides, the whole point is not even who Aafia is or where she has been but how this case is being handled and how it is destroying the basic concepts of law and justice in the minds of people like this writer on Cafe Pyala :)

5. Instead of taking a stand for or against Aafia, for or against the US Court, why not take a stand for justice, fairness and the necesity of legal procedures to be followed in all trials?

Hafsa said...

I agree with Mr. Shafique when he says "the whole point is not even who Aafia is or where she has been but how this case is being handled and how it is destroying the basic concepts of law and justice" government, whether that of US or any country, should be allowed a shady system of Justice. I won't comment on Afia's case in particular because I haven't followed the case well enough in media and there might be more than what meets the eye but "there shouldn't be more than what meets the eye"

However, I must also add, that given a choice I'd rather go to a US court than a Pakistani court for justice. We should champion
the casue of justice all over the world but I think it'd be better to start from home because that is more in our domain than the rest of the world.

I think (and I might be wrong, would appreciate if someone can convince me otherwise with reasoning) we are investing more energy for Aafia's case than it deserves. She is also a US citizen
and its more of a concern of people in US how much justice is excercised in a court located in their country. We should concern ourselves more with our judiciary, parliment, police, army etc,
than a US court.

I like cafepyala's style.... its witty. Out of academic curiosity, I'd like some answers (reasoning for answers would be appreciated) to the following question:
"Given only this article, would you call the author a cynic"?

Anonymous said...

No, the author is not a cynic. He/She is just in favor of objectivity in reporting. To be fair, most media here did not cover Dr. Afia's case objectively. The media subtly/not-so-subtly implied that Pakistanis were being victimized. (Ofcourse most readers WANT to read irrational reporting, and love passionate rhetoric (explaining Z. Bhutto and other passionate speaker's popularity...)

Whatever were the real facts behind Dr. Afia, I will never really know...BUT I protest against the physical brutality against her and how she was treated when detained---on grounds of humanity.

entorio said...

lol@ US-Friendly media. That's exactly what's happening. It's sad when the entire world is championing the cause for justice for Afia, yet Pakistanis are doing the opposite. It's really sad, says a lot about the remnants of colonization in the country. Unshackle your minds, fellas.

Amir said...

if she's al-qaida then for pete's sake try her for being al-qaida. Why condemn her for a 100 years on phoney charges with no fingerprint-bullets-shell evidence at all!!!