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Liberty And Equality America Cries, Our Sister Aafia Siddiqui Untold Story


04 April 2010

By Kamran Shahid

Ismat Siddiqui is Aafia Siddiqui's mother.

Dr. Fowzia is Aafia Siddiqui's sister.

Yvonne Ridley is the sister who was captured by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Mujahideen, but was soon release, after her release Allaah (SWT) opened her heart for His religion Islam.

Kamran Shahid Interviews Aafia Siddiqui’s Family

Translated and transcribed by the Justice for Aafia Coalition

Kamran Shahid: We are sitting in Aafia Siddiqui‟s home in Karachi, a woman who was tried in the United States, and who has become such a big phenomenon in Pakistan. We will talk to her immediate family members: her mother and sister. We will also talk to the female journalist who became a Muslim after spending time in a Taliban prison. It was her press conference which broke the news of Prisoner 650, which forced the Americans to present Aafia in a court. Today‟s programme has several special features. First and foremost we will talk about Aafia; secondly, we will show you unseen pictures, and then we will also show you exclusive footage, which has never been aired before on any Pakistani Channel, of the torture cell in Afghanistan where Aafia Siddiqui was shot.

A very warm welcome, and thank you very much for inviting us here. Let me start our discussion with talking to Aafia‟s mother first. (Pakistan Interior Minister) Rehman Malik came here a couple of days ago and we hear that he gave you much hope that he will be able to do something for Aafia Siddiqui. Do you trust his promises?

Ismat Siddiqui: I think that since the time Aafia was taken away, Rehman Malik has been the only one who raised our hopes and did something. He also had the biggest role in trying to bring the children back. He spoke very strongly about the children to (Afghan President) Karzai and he was hopeful that we will soon succeed, if Allah so wills.

Kamran Shahid: Two of her children are still in Afghanistan?

Ismat: We don‟t know…

Kamran Shahid: But why will Rehman Malik talk to Karzai then?

Ismat: Well, it is Rehman Malik who is doing everything. Anyway, he had many hopes. He said we will get the two children released. He was more hopeful about the girl.

Kamran Shahid: Dr. Fowzia, the American court has convicted her and announced the maximum penalty it can give in her case. Now, the Pakistani ambassador to the US and Rehman Malik too has met you. Despite all this, do you think that considering the verdict of an American court, will Pakistan still be able to use its influence to win Dr. Aafia‟s release? Is a breakthrough possible?

Dr. Fowzia: This was a mistrial, a false trial. America had no jurisdiction. If you see, all violations of basic human rights since the birth of mankind which one can imagine, all of them have been inflicted upon Aafia alone. Apparently, it looks like Aafia has been convicted and all that, but [not clear]. There was a time when we (the family) were all alone. Wherever we used to go, no one used to listen to us. But now she is the daughter of this great nation, which has done many (great) things in history, and has cared for a lot of things. And I have faith in the people of Pakistan and in Allah. And I think, if the media becomes the bridge to convey the message, then you know, Aafia‟s son Ahmed was recovered. He is a miracle in front of us. And it happened when the people stood up for the cause. The media helped portray that cause, and the government had to act. As Yvonne Ridley usually says, "When the people lead, the government has to follow."

Kamran Shahid: As you say, there is a lot of pressure from the nation and the nation wants Aafia to be released immediately, I think if it was within the Pakistani government‟s power, she would have been free. On the other hand, we see that in the custody of American government, her trial is conducted in America and they have their own norms. Then would they, since she is accused, who the Americans think is accused of terrorism, do you think…

Ismat: They do not think she is a terrorist…?

Kamran Shahid: Do you think they will release her on the Pakistani government‟s demand?

Dr. Fowzia: Actually, she was not tried for terrorism. The American prosecution, their District Attorney announced before the trial began that, in his own words, that Aafia has no link to Taliban, Al-Qaida or any terrorist organization. We do not have any evidence for that. Her trial that is going on is only for those few moments in which Aafia snatched the gun, picked it up, loaded it, fired it and then the bullets somehow got into her stomach! These were the charges. She was convicted of them, in which there is no question and trace of terrorism. It is a misconception. It is the American media which has made her out to be a terrorist.

Kamran Shahid: There is a perception that she is an American citizen and hence the US has a right to try her. What do say about this perception?

Dr. Fowzia: I told you, the Americans had no jurisdiction. This was a mistrial. Aafia is a Pakistani citizen. She always was a Pakistani citizen. She never even had a Green Card.

Kamran Shahid: So she is a Pakistani citizen?

Dr. Fowzia: Of course. We have all the passports. Please see them all.

Ismat: The passports are all here.

Dr. Fowzia: Yes, they are all here. If she had an intention of leaving her home and the country, the first thing she would have done is to take her and the children‟s passports with her.

Kamran Shahid: So you are saying these are all Pakistani passports?

Dr. Fowzia: Of course. Please see them, even her children‟s. When the children were born, she…

Kamran Shahid: This is her daughter, Maryam, whom Mr. Rehman Malik has promised to get back from President Karzai. This is a Pakistani passport.

Dr. Fowzia: This is Ahmed.

Kamran Shahid: This is her son, Ahmed, whom we will try to let you meet in today‟s program. His passport too is Pakistani.

Dr. Fowzia: Look, this is Aafia‟s passport. Look, 3rd February 2008. It expired on that date, the date they decided the case against her!

Kamran Shahid: This is Aafia Siddiqui‟s passport, which her sister Dr. Fowzia has given to me.

Dr. Fowzia: The picture you are seeing on the passport, actually it was actually this photo that she had for the passport, but the officials took that one upfront for the passport. This picture you are seeing was taken on the same date the passport was made.

Ismat: Show him that passport too.

Dr. Fowzia: Look at this passport. This was when she was very young.

Kamran Shahid: Since then she has had a Pakistani passport. You can see this.

Dr. Fowzia: It also has her national identity card on it. Perhaps she only took her national identity with her, since we do not have the original. This is a photocopy.

Kamran Shahid: The date on it is 29th of July, 1994. This means she does not have a dual nationality?

Dr. Fowzia: No, no, no, not at all. She does not even have a green card. She never even applied for it.

Ismat: It is a mistrial.

Kamran Shahid: She studied in MIT for a long time. Because of this some people think she is an American citizen?

Dr. Fowzia: Maybe, but I don‟t think so. I think just to justify in the public that the rendition they did, it was an illegal rendition. Even if you look at their story…leave alone what happened in 2003. Just take their story. They say that from Afghanistan they took her to the US. How can you take a Pakistani citizen from Afghanistan to US? She should have been taken to Pakistan. Isn‟t there a Pakistani embassy in Afghanistan?

Kamran Shahid: Do you think it is still a mystery how she got into Afghanistan? I mean whether the Pakistani government delivered her to Afghanistan or she went herself?

Dr. Fowzia: To Afghanistan, she was taken by the American FBI.

Ismat: The FBI took her. It is proven.

Dr. Fowzia: The FBI‟s spokesman, on MSNBC‟s Tom Brokaw show, he is on tape.

Ismat: It is all on tape.

Dr. Fowzia: It is on tape that he said: "We have Aafia."

Kamran Shahid: Let me move onto this lady, Yvonne Ridley. A very warm welcome to our special edition of this show.

Yvonne Ridley: Thank you.

Kamran Shahid: Obviously we know that you converted to Islam and the incident was quite dramatic because you had been taken hostage and detained by the Taliban. You were reporting for the Sunday Express and were working as a reporter there, in Afghanistan and then the Taliban got hold of you and imprisoned you and (was it) the way they treated you probably or was something else going on in your mind during those days... we want to know... because you are the person whose press conference triggered the release of Aafia Siddiqui if I am not wrong.

Yvonne Ridley: Well, six days into my arrest - and I was arrested because I had committed a crime - unlike everybody else - and Aafia, and unlike any of them that were rendered by America, I had committed a crime; I had entered Afghanistan illegally, without a passport, so I am the guilty one and look at me sitting here! I was arrested and held for ten days - ten terrifying days - and on the sixth day they invited me to embrace Islam.

Kamran Shahid: Who?

Yvonne Ridley: The Taliban. And it was the one little ray of hope that I was given because I seized on this and I said I can't embrace Islam under these circumstances and in prison, but I said, if you release me, I promise I will read the Qur'an and study Islam when I get back to London. And against all the odds, after the war had started, after they were holding on to other Westerners, they released me - against all the odds. On a humanitarian instruction by Mullah Omar, the Taliban spiritual leader, I was released.

Kamran Shahid: When was this?

Yvonne Ridley: It was October the 8th, 2001.

Kamran Shahid: Now we have heard quite brutal stories about Afghanistan and the Taliban, but you have a very different picture of the Taliban. First of all, naturally, people would be very curious to know how they dealt with you during all those days that you spent there. Briefly do you want to give us a picture of how they actually dealt with you?

Yvonne Ridley: I was terrified because I had been told because... George Bush told us, Tony Blair told us... this is the most evil, brutal regime in the world, they [unclear], and so when I was arrested, naturally, when I was arrested, I did not think I would see the sun set at night, and in those ten days, they dealt with me with respect and courtesy. I went on hunger strike, and they would still, what they would do, they would bring out food in front of me; freshly baked bread that smelled delicious - and I wouldn't eat it. They had a jug of water and a bowl and they would wash my hands and say please eat, and I was thinking I don't understand this, you know, when are they going to be brutal and evil? Everything that happened in Abu Ghraib, in Bagram, in Guantanamo, and other dark prisons, I thought would have happened to me, which often prompts me to say thank Allah that I was captured by the most evil, brutal regime in the world and not by the Americans.

Kamran Shahid: Have you ever met Mullah Omar?

Yvonne Ridley: I haven't, no. Not as far as I am aware. Nobody knows what he looks like!

Kamran Shahid: Do you ever have, afterwards, recollections of Taliban, recently or previously?

Yvonne Ridley: I was making a film about Aafia's story, and I drove down to Ghazni to the prison, to the police station where she was originally held when she was arrested in July 2008, and on my way down to Ghazni I got caught in the fire fight between the Taliban and the Afghan police and we had to get out of the car and run because they were shooting.

Kamran Shahid: We will take a break and then we will talk to the people present here about the torture faced by Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. We will talk to her mother. We will ask Miss Ridley about the story she broke about Prisoner 650, how she got to know she is in a torture cell in Bagram. And we will also let you meet her son, Ahmed. All this after the break.

Kamran Shahid: Please tell us, as Miss Ridley said that America‟s torture has been very bad.

Ismat: Yes, very.

Kamran Shahid: We have been told that Aafia Siddiqui had to undergo the worst torture. What information do you have about what injustice America has done to your daughter?

Ismat: She was tortured a lot in the torture cell. The worst was that six men would come and strip her naked. All her clothes would be removed. She told this to the Pakistani senators too, that they would strip her naked, then tie her hands behind her back, and then they would take her, dragging her by the hair. You cannot imagine the cruelty they have done to her. They would take her like this to the corridor and film her there. After that, they observed that she would read the Qu‟ran, from memory and from the book. They again would send six, seven men, who would strip her naked and misbehave etc. They took the Qu‟ran and threw it at her feet and told her that only if you walk on the Qu‟ran will we return the Qu‟ran to you. She would cry and shout that she would not do it. Then they would beat her with their rifle butts so much that she would be bloodied. All her face and body would be injured. Then they used to pull out her hair one by one, just like this. Anyway, they used to tell her to walk on the Qu‟ran…They threatened her that they will take her to the court like this, naked.

Dr. Fowzia: It‟s on video. It‟s on tape.

Ismat: It is all on tape. I am not making this up.

Kamran Shahid: On tape by Aafia Siddiqui or the Americans?

Dr. Fowzia: They are sadists or whatever. All the strip searching was video-taped (by them).

Kamran Shahid: Hmm…

Ismat: Video-taped. She said this herself too - that they beat her so much that she bled. After that they made her lie on a bed. Then they tied her hands and feet - hands and feet both tied so that she is not even able to scratch her wounds. Then they applied torture to the soles of her feet and head. They put her in some machines to make her lose her mental stability. They gave her such injections on the pretext of medical treatment. When she would plead and scream to them not to give her these injections, they would make her unconscious and then give them to her. Such is the cruelty. This epic cruelty - and look at this Islamic world, these 57 or 54 Muslim countries. They are all silent and making their palaces in Hell. I say it clearly, I have the fatwa, that any Muslim woman, of any age, young or old, if she is the captive of any non-Muslim, then it is the individual duty (fardhain) of every Muslim, young or old, male or female, to free her. The Islamic scholars said that even if the Holy Ka‟bah is being demolished by people and you are running to save it, but then you hear that a Muslim woman has been imprisoned by the non-Muslims, then leave the Ka‟bah, let it be demolished, but free that Muslim woman. Do you know how big this duty on these Muslims is? And this is the reason… Allah knows that these people torture a Muslim woman. These low lives, these dogs. I think dogs are much better. Even animals don‟t do such torture.

Kamran Shahid: Like the torture the Americans have done.

Ismat: Yes. Imagine the torture that they lay her on a bed and tie her up. And then six men…you know how big an issue hijab is to us Muslims, and then you make her naked! Which religion and which world has allowed you to do this to the accused? They did this when they had not even convicted her with anything! She was not even a criminal in their law. And she has done no crime. They did not accuse her of terrorism. She is not a terrorist.

Kamran Shahid: Dr. Fowzia, please tell us, because obviously these things are very painful, but people have this question; was it the Pakistani government who took her to Afghanistan at the American‟s insistence? What happened? Why did it happen to her? I mean is she the only one to whom this was done, the torture and trial in America?

Dr. Fowzia: Actually, she is not the only one. Thousands! Not hundreds, but thousands.

Kamran Shahid: From Pakistan?

Dr. Fowzia: From Pakistan, from Yemen and from other Muslim countries. Aafia has just become a poster child for this torture and rendition, perhaps because of her education or because her family did not give up. Here and there, we continued this campaign. You know it matters.

Kamran Shahid: So, you think there are many other Pakistani women?

Dr. Fowzia: Yes, of course.

Kamran Shahid: In Afghanistan, in American torture cells?

Dr. Fowzia: Yes, of course. In many places, we don‟t know what they are going through. Just because of all this we did….she was supposed to be shot dead.

Kamran Shahid: Because she (Yvonne Ridley) is responsible, we must praise her (it is) because of her press conference actually (that) this case has been put for....

Dr. Fowzia: Got the momentum that it took…

Kamran Shahid: So, my question to you is, how did you get to know about this prisoner number 650, known as Aafia Siddiqui, was prisoner number 650

Yvonne Ridley: Well, I am a patron of Cageprisoners, a human rights organisation which focuses mainly on Guantanamo detainees, and I've filmed in Guantanamo for four days, and when I came back I met up with Moazzam Begg who was kidnapped from Pakistan and put on a rendition flight and landed in Kandahar, Bagram and then Guantanamo and I told him the terrible things that we had seen in Guantanamo and he said forget Guantanamo, there is a place that is even more dark, more deadly, more sinister, and that is Bagram, and he said, I saw two men being beaten to death in Bagram - being tortured to death; and he said, even now I wake up to hear a woman screaming, he said, every night a woman was screaming while I was held in Bagram, and I doubted him, I'd heard this before - he'd written about it in Enemy Combatant , and I said, look, don't you think the woman's screaming was a tape-recording - some mental torture to make you think your wife was next door? He said, well, when I got to Guantanamo, the other detainees said that they had also heard the woman screaming - and some of them had seen her. I then investigated more and discovered that the identity of this woman was Prisoner 650.

Kamran Shahid: That she was Aafia Siddiqui?

Yvonne Ridley: Well, I investigated and looked and checked, and in the end, we had to come to the conclusion that, yes, 650 is Aafia Siddiqui. I couldn't believe that the American administration would have sanctioned the kidnap, torture and rendition of Aafia Siddiqui - and let's not forget, when we talk about Aafia Siddiqui, we talk about Aafia Siddiqui plus three - her children. And then, in the midst of all of this, Aafia Siddiqui appears in a story which could only have come from a Hollywood plot, you know, this is the iconic picture, this is how she...

Kamran Shahid: Who obtained this picture?

Yvonne Ridley: That picture (on the right) was shown to me by the governor of Ghazni with a series of pictures of her taken, and what shocked me, I thought, and a lot of people around the world saw this picture and thought this is what she looked like after she had been shot, but actually, that is what she looked like before she was shot in a police cell in Ghazni police station and we've got some images to show you which show all the gunfire that the Americans fired off; there were 12 - more than 12 American soldiers crammed in this cell and behind the dividing curtain was Aafia, and she heard all this commotion and got up to see what was going on - I don't even think she got near the curtain, the soldiers saw somebody moving and panicked and shot her . Now, what the Americans want us to believe, again, how stupid do they think the Pakistan media are, they want us to believe that she sprang from behind the curtain, seized the semi-automatic rifle, and fired it. In a room crowded with soldiers, this 'highly-trained, al-Qaeda fanatic' managed to fire off a gun and miss. If she'd swung a cat she'd have hit four soldiers immediately - the room was jammed with them, and we have the head of the counter-terrorism unit, a man called Abdul-Qadeer, telling me she never touched the gun.

Kamran Shahid: These images of the torture cell, which Yvonne Ridley talked about, we will try to show them to you, exclusively on this program. After this break…

Kamran Shahid: We will show you exclusive footage, for the first time on any channel or program in Pakistan, of the torture cell where Aafia Siddiqui was kept, where she was shot, allegedly, by US soldiers. See this footage. We will continue the program after that.

Kamran Shahid’s voice in background: In this exclusive video footage, our guest today in Frontline program Yvonne Ridley, took us to this place, the dramatic place where, according to America, Aafia Siddiqui picked up a gun against American soldiers and fired at them. On the other hand, Aafia Siddiqui‟s version is that this is the place where American soldiers fired at her. When local people were asked whether Aafia was behind this curtain, they replied, "Yes." You can see here marks of the bullets allegedly fired by Americans on Aafia. When I sought details from the local (Afghan) governor, he told me that when he went to the room, he saw that an American had laid down his gun on the floor and himself sat down. We Afghans too sat down at the place. That American placed his gun on the ground. Aafia picked up the gun and fired it. There was another ISAF soldier in the room, who shot Aafia as a reaction. We asked the local people whether they could identify which marks on the wall were of the bullets fired by Aafia. A local man said, "I was standing at the door when the two rounds were fired, which hit the wall as we can see. But, although she placed her hand on the gun, but I don‟t think she did the firing." Ms. Ridley asked him whether all these bullet marks were from the Americans‟ guns. He replied, "Yes." The governor was again asked what her condition was when he saw her at the time she fired at the Americans: was she drugged? He replied, "That she was alright, I saw her. She was not looking abnormal." The governor was again asked whether she looked like the picture on the book at that time, and he replied yes. Ridley pressed that she did not look normal in the picture. The governor said, "I don‟t know why it appears like that. Maybe she had lost weight, maybe because she had not slept in a week. But, I do not know the exact reason." Ridley insisted once again that she was not looking normal in the picture, but the governor repeated, "I don‟t know." Ridley asked, "It is very astonishing that the crime was committed, allegedly, by Aafia in Afghanistan, but the trial is being held in New York!" The governor replied, "A crime is crime, the justice is justice." Ridley insisted, "The crime took place in Afghanistan while Aafia is a Pakistani national, so why is the trial going on in New York?" The governor replied, "I don‟t know. I don‟t care for these things. People will have to go to a court and they should go to a court."

Kamran Shahid: What treatment did Aafia Siddiqui receive from the American people and the court?

Dr. Fowzia: The treatment, let‟s see. Our brother too went to the court. We requested the court repeatedly to at least let the family talk to her before the trial, let the lawyers talk to her. Permission was not granted, not at all. Our brother was not allowed to meet her at all since the time she came to MDC (Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Centre). After that, when my brother came to court, she tried to turn back to look. There two US marshals standing on both sides of her, here and here, both men. When she tried to look back, the marshals physically spun her head to the front, manhandling her badly. He attended the whole trial, from the first day when Aafia came. He saw her on the first day of trial in handcuffs and fetters, pus seeping from her wounds, marshals and all that. My brother called me and said, "Sister, today I have seen the oppressed and oppressor, extreme cruelty and the extremely oppressed under one roof!" But all these tortures are one thing. I, as the elder sister, and knowing Aafia, what she was and what she is: her life, her soul, everything was those kids. Taking those children away from her, I think there can be nothing greater than this…she dies the day they took away her children from her. Whatever else they are doing, they are doing it to a living corpse. I think the second time she died was when they stripped her and took off her clothes. But the day they took those small children away from her, I think there cannot be a bigger human coercion than this, and add to it that they tortured the kids in front of her.

Kamran Shahid: Did they torture the children?

Dr. Fowzia: Yes, it was said in court.

Ismat: Don‟t talk about … [unclear]. Be quiet.

Dr. Fowzia: I don‟t think there can be a greater brutality than that. Read the entire history of the world. I think even Genghis Khan did not do this.

Kamran Shahid: OK, tell us where was the (Pakistani) government negligent, or what negligence they could have avoided so that the case would not have gone this far?

Ismat: If the government wanted, she would not have gone there, she would have been here in two days. What are you talking about? The government is doing this to its own nationals. If the government wanted, she would not have gone there. Let‟s believe for a moment the story that they caught her in Afghanistan. But, you have a consulate in Afghanistan.

Ismat: …they should have said to Afghanistan that she is our national, give her to us, that is our order! Why are they doing our trial there (in the US) when we have an ambassador present there?

Kamran Shahid: What do you think, has this government has been has or hasn‟t done enough or should do more; you‟re still optimistic that this government can persuade America and the jury that convicted her as a criminal; is it possible for Pakistan to convince America and on what grounds?

Dr. Fowzia: Look... Pakistan...

Kamran Shahid: And Obama has his own future at stake. The huge public there, regardless of what Pakistan thinks, the media tilt there is that they do not look at Aafia in a positive light.

Dr. Fowzia: Yes of course; they portray her as a terrorist despite…

Kamran Shahid: If America did release her upon Obama‟s order, then it would cost him the next election and this would mean that he has released a terrorist... so how do you expect Obama to do this?

Dr. Fowzia/Ismat: She is not a terrorist.

Kamran Shahid: No, I am not saying that she is; you said that the people there think like that. So how is it that that America and Obama will take such a huge stake and bear the blame that they have released a terrorist for Pakistan‟s sake.

Dr. Fowzia: The thing is that Aafia is not a big thing in the US, only in New York where the trial has happened and there too only in tabloid papers has this case been reported much, but otherwise in the rest of the US nobody knows. She‟s not a big thing… even for Obama. Pakistan is the backbone of America. If Pakistan stops cooperation, even if they threaten not to cooperate, the Americans would kneel down and hand her back. The American State Department have said that they want to save face.

Kamran Shahid: The State Department has said this?

Ismat: They say they want to give her back.

Dr. Fowzia: She‟s not a big fish, they know. Both governments know she‟s nobody, she‟s very innocent and she hasn‟t done anything. This is just a face saver.

Kamran Shahid: So if it is a face saver, what is the strategy, Rehman Malik meets you, and Pakistani ambassador to the US meets you...

Dr. Fowzia: Look, they haven‟t even made an official demand. Lord Nazir Ahmed (British Lord) told us that that no official demand has been made, just many dinner talks…many dinner talks.

Kamran Shahid: So why are you expecting to have her back when they, the government of Pakistan are not even demanding her back?

Dr. Fowzia: If Allah wills, they will eventually. I have told you, I have faith in Allah and I have faith in the Pakistani people.

Kamran Shahid: What did Rehman Malik say to you in his last meeting, apart from about the children, with regards to Aafia?

Dr. Fowzia: He told us some strategies etc.

Kamran Shahid: What did he say?

Dr. Fowzia: He told us a strategy, which he said that you know obviously these kinds of strategies are not to be made public.

Kamran Shahid: But you tell me, are you optimistic that you can get her back here?

Dr. Fowzia: Of course, I say even now that if you stop the NATO supply line for 2 days, on the third day you will get not just Aafia but even the drone attacks will stop.

Kamran Shahid: This strategy was not told to you by Rehmanan Malik, was it?

Dr. Fowzia: No, I am saying this.

Ismat: We have been saying this for many days now…

Dr. Fowzia: I am saying this on your programme and I‟m telling the nation that let General Kiyani act like General Muhammad Bin Qasim and show everyone that for a daughter, just like he does for the protection of his whole nation, that he can also take a stand for a daughter.

Kamran Shahid: You should go to President Zardari as he is the elected president, not Kiyani. Why is it you have hope in him and not Zardari and the Prime Minister?

Dr. Fowzia: Have you not read the papers; Pakistan‟s strongest man, is Kiyani. I am going by what I‟ve been told.

Kamran Shahid: By?

Dr. Fowzia: By the media.

Kamran Shahid: Yes, but that‟s been written by the western media about Mr. Kiyani.

Dr. Fowzia: Yes, but they think that of him. So whoever they think highly of, let them listen to him.

Ismat: Had at least Mr. Kiyani re-enacted the role of Mohammad bin Qasim….

Kamran Shahid: Why can‟t Zardari sahib take the role of Mohammad bin Qasim? He is (constitutionally) the Commander in Chief of General Kiyani.

Ismat: What can I say…

Dr. Fowzia: Who knows, Allah might give him guidance and he does this job. I always used to say a couplet. I had lost all hope when the first time they told us Aafia is coming back but she didn‟t. Someone sent an SMS (text message) to me, and I don‟t know if I will say it right but the text message is:

Do not pin your hopes on kings and the worldly, rich people

This is indeed a great feat, which will be accomplished by the poor

Kamran Shahid: Fantastic. My last thing to you (Yvonne Ridley) is that these are the immediate family members of Aafia Siddiqui and I can understand their sentiments but with you being a journalist and not being a direct relation to Aafia Siddiqui, tell me pragmatically speaking while living in West is it possible if jury in US convicts a person, what sort of pressure would be on American president and would it be possible for him to oblige Pakistan in any way by release them?

Yvonne Ridley: What we are talking about is the most powerful man in the world: Barack Obama. If he wants to change the rules, if he wants to change the laws he will do it. George Bush threw out the Geneva conventions and created Guantanamo and bought us a new language: renditioning, water boarding, renditions and kidnap. Now, Barack Obama has the authority to throw it all out the window and say send this woman home.

Interview with Aafia’s son: Ahmed

Kamran Shahid: What is your name?

Ahmed: My name is Ahmed.

Kamran Shahid: Aafia Siddiqui is your mother. Would you like to say something to her? How much you miss her?

Ahmed: I want to say why have they imprisoned her and why did they imprison me?

Kamran Shahid: Do you want to give her any message, to your mother as a son?

Ahmed: I love you and I am waiting for you and you come back soon, if Allah permits.

 

 

 

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