Demo against putting Aafia Issue on back burner

Karachi: The dedicated efforts of Indians as a proud nations resulted returning home of their persecuted envoy from the United States of America, but the daughter of the nation, Dr Aafia Siddiqui is still languishing in a US prison due to inaction of Pakistani rulers, said Pasban Pakistan President Altaf Shakoor here Sunday.

Addressing a protest demo of Pasban in front of the Karachi Press Club (KPC), he said the Pakistani rulers have put the Aafia Issue on the back burner, which is tantamount to blacken the face of Pakistani nation.

Dozens of Pasban activists on the occasion symbolically blackened their faces to show the disgrace of Pakistani nation due to continued imprisonment of the Pakistani mother and noted woman scientist.

Altaf Shakoor noted that we Pakistanis criticize the Indians, but they showed a heroic courage when it was the matter of saving the dignity of their daughter Devyani Khobragade, their deputy consul general in the USA who was arrested on the charges of facilitating illegal immigration of her maid Sangeeta Richards. He said on the issue of Devyani Khobragade the government and opposition of India raised a united voice and whole nation backed them, forcing the uni-polar world power, USA, to retreat. He regretted the Pakistani political parties still lack this national character. He said individually we Pakistanis are very touchy when it the matter of honour of our mothers and daughters, but we have shown a complete lack of character and honour when it the matter saving the national honour and dignity.

Altaf Shakoor recalled that many political parties had arranged big rallies and demos to demand the release of Aafia, but soon after they forgot the whole issue. He said not only the political parties but the religio-political parties also betrayed with the Aafia issue. He said the brief attachment of these parties to the issue of Aafia Siddiqui was to get political gains by manoeuvring the name of the daughter of the nation. He said though the rulers and politicians have seemingly forgotten Dr Aafia Siddiqui, she still lives in the hearts of millions of Pakistanis. He said these Pakistanis as voters would punish the selfish politicians in the coming elections for betraying the cause of Aafia.

Pasban leader asked the government to resume the diplomatic efforts for early release and repatriation of Dr Siddiqui. He said the humanitarian angles of this issue are being constantly neglected in Pakistan and the US. He said human rights activists around the world have been demanding early release of Aafia and her reunion with her children and ailing mother. He urged the governments of Pakistan and the United States of America to review the issue in light of humanitarian aspects.

He said Aafia Siddiqui is also a woman and mother, as her rights as a woman and a mother should not be violated. He said there is a need of further improving Pakistan and America relations and an early release and repatriation of Dr Siddiqui would help in even closure people-to-people relations between both the nations.

He urged the government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to give a serious focus on this lingering issue concerning the sentiments of Pakistani nation and utilize all available forums to ensure a swift release and repatriation of the Pakistani mother.

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