Repatriation of Aafia on humanitarian grounds urged

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Karachi:    Government should take serious efforts to ensure repatriation of noted woman scientist and educationalist Dr Aafia Siddiqui from the US on purely humanitarian grounds as Pakistani mother this has already suffered a lot, said a columnist and journalist, Tayyaba Cheema.

Speaking at a reception hosted at the residence of Dr Fowzia Siddiqui, noted neurophysician of the country and leader of Aafia Movement Pakistan, she said Aafia was not arrested and tried on charges of terrorism, but she was convicted on the basis of a flimsy, fake and fabricated story. She said handing Aafia Siddiqui 86-year prison is a mockery of justice.

Karachi Press Club (KPC) President Imtiaz Faran, general secretary Arman Sabir and other journalists and writers were also present.

Cheema, who has recently came Pakistan from the US, said when in 2009 during trial of Aafia, she had asked about her case from the US attorney, Elizabeth Fink, she had advise to get her repatriated to Pakistan on humanitarian grounds, as her case was weak. She is a Pakistan citizen and there is no legality in trying her in the USA, Fink had advised.

Cheema said since then successive governments are dragging feet on the issue of Dr Aafia Siddiqui. Some former military generals are also misleading the nation about this case to save skin of dictator former general Pervez Musharraf. She suggested that the only way to get repatriated Aafia Siddiqui to Pakistan is to fight her case on purely humanitarian grounds, as was advised by the US attorney Fink.

She appealed to the Pakistani nation to take a firm stand on the matter of illegal detention of Aafia so that she could be brought back home on humanitarian grounds.

Earlier, Asmat Siddiqui, the mother of Aafia, warmly welcomed the guests and thanked them for expressing solidarity with the Aafia Family.

Dr Fowzia Siddiqui gave the vote of thanks and appreciated the help and assistance of media in case of Dr Aafia Siddiqui.