In legal limbo: Scores protest Dr Aafia’s arrest, prosecution in US
ISLAMABAD: Scores of people from different walks of life on Thursday protested ‘illegal’ confinement of a Pakistani scientist, Dr Aafia Siddiqui, by the US.
Holding placards and banners inscribed with messages against the president and the US, the protestors, including Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) workers, Jamia Hafsa students, family members of missing persons and civil society representatives showed up at D-Chowk near Parliament amid tight security.
They shouted slogans like ‘Go Musharraf Go’ and ‘Whosoever befriends America is a traitor’.
JI leader Liaquat Baloch, human rights activist Aamina Masood, Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s sister Dr Fauzia Siddique and Islamabad District Bar Council President Sardar Asmatullah Khan spoke to the protestors.
Liaquat Baloch accused intelligence agencies of first kidnapping Dr Aafia Siddiqui and her three children and then handing them over to the US agencies. He alleged that Dr Aafia was subjected to torture in illegal confinement.
He pressed the government for seeking the scientist’s custody from the US. He also emphasised that the country distance itself from the US-led war on terror.
Baloch declared war on terror a war on Islam and Muslims.
He said President Musharraf had ordered Lal Masjid operation, which claimed dozens of innocent lives. He alleged that phosphorus bombs were used in the operation in violation of human rights.
Another JI leader, Luqman Qazi, said Dr Aafia was not an Al Qaeda link and she was kept in illegal confinement by the US agencies for five years.
Dr Aafia’s sibling Dr Fauzia Siddiqui said her sister had nothing to do with terror groups. She said the entire family was under great stress due to Dr Aafia’s deteriorating physical condition. She alleged her sister was physically and mentally tortured during the five-year long captivity.