Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thousands rally in Karachi over scientist jailed in US


28 September 2010 Last updated at 13:00 ET

BBC News, Karachi

A massive show of support in Karachi for scientist Dr Aafia Siddiqui who was sentenced to 86 years in jail in the US last week Tens of thousands of people have marched in Pakistan's southern city of Karachi, demanding the release of imprisoned scientist Doctor Aafia Siddiqui.

Dr Siddiqui was sentenced to 86 years in prison by a New York court on 23 September.

She had been convicted of trying to kill US federal agents in Afghanistan.

US officials also say she is an al-Qaeda agent, but her family say this is a cover-up.

America is not a perfect country... they have to review a lot of their policies because they are pushing secular, moderate, liberal and progressive people on the other side of the line of divide”
End Quote Dr Farooq Sattar

MQM party
According to them, Dr Siddiqui has been a prisoner of the United States since her disappearance from Karachi in 2003.

There have been a number of protests in Pakistan over her case but this rally, organised by the MQM political party, was the largest so far.

The crowd roared as the imprisoned scientist's sister addressed them on a bright Tuesday afternoon in Karachi.

Dr Fowzia Siddiqui called on those gathered to continue their struggle for her sister's release.

She said she was positive that Aafia Siddiqui would soon be back in Pakistan if the public pressure continued.

The rally in Karachi was the latest in a continuing campaign to pressure the US and Pakistani governments.

But it is the first time that a mainstream political party has called for Dr Siddiqui's release.

The MQM is also a part of the ruling coalition.

Growing chorus

Protesters hope to put pressure on the US and the Pakistan government to secure Dr Siddiqui's release Its most senior leader in Pakistan, Dr Farooq Sattar, explains why the party has joined the chorus: "America is not a perfect country, American system and their policies are not perfect."

Dr Sattar said US authorities should review many of their policies.

"They are pushing secular, moderate, liberal and progressive people on the other side of the line of divide," he said, "and more and more people are becoming fanatic, becoming extremists and becoming terrorists."

Pakistan's government is now feeling the heat of this fast-growing campaign.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gillani expressed his displeasure after Dr Aafia was sentenced.

He called her a daughter of the nation, and said his government would do its best to get her released.


Connie L. Nash said...

See the following for some concerns having to do with Constitution and Justice here in the USA:

http://nomorecrusades.blogspot.com/Nat'l Conference Call Tonight

SF Labor Council Denounces FBI Repression 1st National Conference Call of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression

Connie L. Nash said...

I missed this item earlier on the Dr. Aafia Siddiqui sentencing Thursday- there are plenty of URLS to related items as well by Gordan Duff with Veterans Today and some comments:


Last I saw, comments were still coming in on this case/sentencing at Andy Worthington's website and his article on the Barbaric sentencing at Huff Post for any wishing to join either of these dialogues?

Connie L. Nash said...

Interesting also to note - and terrifically worrisome as well - that Ghazni Province once again is getting some headlines. That is where Dr. Aafia was arrested in 2008, where an earlier government official showed Yvonne Ridley photos of the arrest, spoke sympathetically of what Aafia's son had been through as well as the mother.

With the latest, a killing of Ghazni Province Deputy Governer and at least six others, once again it's in the news.

Connie L. Nash said...

DEMOCRACY NOW! used same headline for latest and quote from Dr. Farooq Sattar See: