Govt disappointing nation on Aafia issue: FowziaMarch 7, 2014
Lahore: Aafia Movement Pakistan leader Dr Fowzia Siddiqui here Friday said that like past regimes the sitting government of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has also disappointed Pakistani nation on the issue Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the daughter of the nation.
Addressing a crowded press conference in Lahore Press Club (LPC), she said it was very painful for her to say that the government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) like the past government also made false promises regarding the release of Aafia and misled not only the Aafia family but also whole Pakistani nation.
She said Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif during his meeting with Aafia family has said Mariam daughter of Aafia was like his own daughter Mariam Nawaz, and he also considers the mother of Dr Aafia as his own mother. He had said that his party got votes in the name of Aafia and his government would ensure that Aafia will be back home before the new year. However, like the previous rulers Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif also failed to fulfil his pledge.
Dr Fowzia said when the government was signing the European Union Treaty for release of prisoners to seek the release of Aafia, she had objected and suggested that instead the American treaty should be signed as Aafia was in an American jail, but the government silenced her that the European Union treaty would also serve the same purpose. She said the time has proven that these all were just delaying tactics of the government to befool the Aafia family and mislead the nation.
She said she had met with the federal interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan at least six times and in each meeting he had assured her that the government is taking solid steps to bring home Aafia.
She regretted that the government so far has failed to take any serious step in this regard. She said there seemed no hope that Aafia would be released and repatriated in the tenure of Nawaz government. She asked the government what the factors were that hindered to seek the release and repatriation of Aafia. She said the political parties are getting votes in the name of Aafia but after coming in power they just forget Aafia and her imprisonment.
Aafia Movement leader announced that she would launch a grassroots movement in Pakistan to mobilize the masses on Aafia issue. She said she will visit markets, streets, public places, schools and colleges and raise the Aafia issue strongly. She said likewise with the cooperation of more than 40 international human rights organizations this issue would be raised on global level.
President of Us-based human rights organization, Peace through Justice, Mauri Saalakhan, on the occasion, said that Dr Aafia Siddiqui is a Pakistani citizen and it is not difficult for the Pakistani government to seek the release and repartition of a Pakistani citizen. He said the issue of Aafia is purely a human rights issue and the rights activists and organizations all over the world are fully supporting it.
He said on behalf of the peace-loving people of United States of America he wants to express solidarity with the people of Pakistan and Aafia family that they fully back the demand of release of Aafia Siddiqui. He said they would also launch a global movement on this sensitive human rights issue.
Dr Fowzia hoped that their movement would not only result in early release of Aafia, but it would also ensure that in future no Pakistani man, woman or children is kidnapped, trafficked and sold to the agencies of foreign countries for dollars. She said she does not only demand the release of Aafia but also all missing persons and those in illegal custody, violating the laws and human rights.
She said they are not only struggling for Aafia but also for uphold of basic rights of all Pakistan and the respect and dignity of Pakistan as a proud and sovereign country in the comity of nations.
Engineer Aftabuddin Qureshi and other human rights leaders also spoke.